U.S. Efforts to Find Miguel Recarey Gao ID: OSI-95-7 December 21, 1994

In October 1985, Miguel G. Recarey, Jr., former President and Chairman of the Board of International Medical Centers, Inc., failed to appear for a hearing in U.S. District Court in Florida on charges of bribing an officer of an employee welfare fund, bribing a potential federal grand jury witness, and illegal wiretapping. Mr. Recarey fled the United States in October 1987, beginning an international fugitive investigative effort covering at least three continents and 11 countries. This report discusses whether (1) the Departments of Justice and State made a good-faith effort to locate and gain custody of Mr. Recarey, (2) Justice Department officials contacted the Venezuelan government on this matter, (3) the Venezuelan government told the U.S. government that it had tried to find Mr. Recarey, and (4) the U.S. government followed standard operating procedures to locate and gain custody of Mr. Recarey.

GAO found that: (1) it could not determine whether DOJ and State followed standard operating procedures in the fugitive case, since they refused to provide all available files because of their ongoing investigation; (2) DOJ and State appeared to make good-faith efforts to locate and gain custody of the fugitive, but the Federal Bureau of Investigation failed to request a certain type of notification through an international criminal investigation organization when it determined that the fugitive had left the United States; (3) DOJ and State notified the Venezuelan government about the fugitive and the Venezuelan government said it would cooperate with U.S. efforts to find the fugitive; and (4) U.S. law enforcement agencies had difficulty in finding and apprehending the fugitive because he apparently used his influence with some Venezuelan government officials to avoid detention and to mislead U.S. law enforcement officials in their pursuit.

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