$40,000 in cash found in briefcase in Los Altos Hills home of former Peruvian president

Alejandro Toledo. San Mateo County Sheriff's Department mug shot.

A federal judge in San Francisco has denied bail for former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo after prosecutors argued he was a flight risk and pointed out officials found a suitcase with $40,000 in cash during his arrest at his home in Los Altos Hills.

Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson on Friday (July 19) ordered Toledo held pending an extradition hearing scheduled for July 26.

U.S. Marshals detained Toledo at his Los Altos Hills home Tuesday (July 16) on an extradition request. The ex-president is wanted in his home country on accusations of taking $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. Odebrecht has admitted to paying $800 million to officials throughout the region in exchange for lucrative public works contracts. Toledo denies the charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elise Lapunzina told Hixson in federal court in San Francisco that the cash and the fact that Toledo has ties to other counties made him a flight risk. She said his wife is from Israel, a country that does not have an extradition agreement with Peru.

Toledo’s attorney, former U.S. Attorney Joseph Russoniello, argued for the former president to be released on bail, saying he has deep ties to the Bay Area. Russoniello said the cash was his wife’s money, and it was being used to pay for the couple’s expenses.

Toledo, 72, made headlines in March when he was arrested for public drunkenness at the Dutch Goose in west Menlo Park. He spent the night in jail.

Toledo was Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006. He moved to California shortly after leaving office to work and study at Stanford. He had been a visiting scholar at Stanford as recently as 2017.

— From staff and wire reports


  1. What’s so unusual about this? Our politicians go into office with very little money and come out rich. Remember the Clintons?

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