Mexico oil boss at center of Citi loan fraud exits jail -source

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The former chief executive of a Mexican oil services company arrested over a loan scandal that inflicted hefty losses on Citigroup Inc’s local Banamex unit was released from prison on Thursday, an official in the city government said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official confirmed media reports that Amado Yanez, who was CEO of the Oceanografia firm when the scandal over bogus loans broke in 2014, left the prison in Mexico City early on Thursday.

Mexican media said that a Mexico City judge had ordered Yanez’s release after payment of bail of 7.5 million pesos ($404,000), and that the investigation against him would continue. The city official could not confirm this detail.

A federal judicial source said media reports about the release of Yanez, which occurred at the start of a four-day holiday weekend, appeared correct, but that no notification had been submitted by the court.

An official at the court reached by telephone said she was not authorized to comment on the matter.

Citigroup said that due to the alleged fraud it discovered at its Mexican subsidiary, it had to write down about $400 million of loans backed by bogus invoices. The then-chief executive officer of Banamex stood down in October 2014.

Yanez was also majority owner of Oceanografia, for years a top service provider to state-run Mexican oil firm Pemex. The government seized the company’s assets after the loan scandal surfaced. ($1 = 18.5767 Mexican pesos)