According to the DoJ, a Venezuelan billionaire who owns Globovision news network was charged in an indictment unsealed yesterday for his role in a billion-dollar currency exchange and money laundering scheme. A former Venezuelan national treasurer and a former owner of Banco Peravia bank in the Dominican Republic each pleaded guilty in proceedings unsealed today for their roles in the scheme.
Raul Gorrin Belisario (Gorrin), 50, a Venezuelan citizen with a residence in Miami, Florida, was charged in an indictment filed on Aug. 16, 2017 in the Southern District of Florida with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and nine counts of money laundering.
The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas of the Southern District of Florida. Alejandro Andrade Cedeno (Andrade), 54, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Wellington, Florida and a former Venezuelan national treasurer, pleaded guilty under seal on Dec. 22, 2017 before U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray (Jimenez), 50, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Chicago, Illinois and former owner of Banco Peravia bank, pleaded guilty under seal on March 20, 2018 in the Southern District of Florida before Judge Rosenberg to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Charges against Andrade and Jimenez were unsealed today.
The indictment alleges that Gorrin paid millions of dollars in bribes to two high-level Venezuelan officials, including Andrade, to secure the rights to conduct foreign currency exchange transactions at favorable rates for the Venezuelan government. In addition to wiring money to and for the officials, Gorrin allegedly purchased and paid expenses for them related to private jets, yachts, homes, champion horses, high-end watches and a fashion line. To conceal the bribe payments, Gorrin made payments through multiple shell companies. Gorrin allegedly partnered with Jimenez to acquire Banco Peravia, a bank in the Dominican Republic, to launder bribes paid to Venezuelan officials and proceeds of the scheme.
As part of his guilty plea, Andrade admitted that he received over $1 billion in bribes from Gorrin and other co-conspirators in exchange for using his position as Venezuelan national treasurer to select them to conduct currency exchange transactions for the Venezuelan government. As part of his plea agreement, Andrade agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $1 billion and forfeiture of all assets involved in the corrupt scheme, including real estate, vehicles, horses, watches, aircraft and bank accounts. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 27.
As part of his guilty plea, Jimenez admitted that, as part of the scheme, he conspired with Gorrin and others to acquire Banco Peravia, through which he helped launder bribe money and scheme proceeds. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 29.
Read more at: Tax Times blog