NEW YORK, March 9 (UPI) -- A New York grand jury has indicted a former Brazilian mayor for allegedly stealing millions intended to build a highway in his South American country.
Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau says Paulo Maluf's use of a bank in New York gave his office the jurisdiction it needed to press charges against the former mayor of San Paulo, The New York Post reports.
The indictment accuses Maluf of stealing $11.6 million but prosecutors believe the actual theft was probably in the neighborhood of $140 million.
Maluf, 75, allegedly used the Fifth Avenue branch of Safra National Bank to move the money into offshore accounts.
Morgenthau says he also used some of the siphoned millions to buy antique watches and jewelry from Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses.
"This case represents corruption and greed on a colossal scale," Morgenthau says.
Because the United States doesn't have an extradition treaty with Brazil, Maluf remains at large living in Sao Paulo.
"If he steps out of Brazil, we can snatch him," Morgenthau says.