MDO | ALERTS

MDO | ALERTS

VENEZUELAN BILLIONAIRE, ITS TREASURER, AND FORMER BANK OWNER INDICTED FOR FCPA VIOLATIONS INVOLVING OVER $1 BILLION IN BRIBES

 

■ ■ ■  DECEMBER 5, 2018

 

 

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its indictment in the Southern District of Florida of Venezuelan billionaire, Raul Gorrin Belisario (Gorrin), who owns Globovision news network. Gorrin was indicted for 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. Alejandro Andrade (Andrade), Venezuela's treasurer under late Hugo Chavez's government, pleaded guilty to receiving the bribes in the same scheme. Gabriel Jimenez ("Jimenez"), former owner of the Dominican Republic-based Banco Peravia, also pleaded guilty to participating in the bribery scheme. 

 

According to the indictment, Gorrin paid millions of dollars to Venezuelan high-ranking officials, including Andrade, to secure the rights to conduct foreign currency exchange transactions at favorable rates for the government, taking advantage of Venezuela's exchange controls. Gorrin and the officials also worked together with other parties to launder the money used in the payments. In addition to paying the bribes directly to the officials, Gorrin made payments through luxury gifts such as jets, a yacht, real estate, high-end watches, platinum and gold, etc.

 

Because all subjects have connections with the United States and many of the transactions involved in the scheme occurred in the U.S., they were subject to prosecution for FCPA violations. Gorrin is a Venezuelan citizen with a residence in Miami, Florida. Andrade, a Venezuelan citizen, resides in Wellington, Florida. Jimenez is also a Venezuelan citizen with a residence in Chicago, Illinois, and he pleaded guilty in assisting the laundering of money through the Peravia Bank, which he acquired to participate in the scheme.  This FCPA enforcement action is one of the many focused on conduct in Venezuela, which is part of a U.S. effort to crack down on the use of the U.S. financial system to further corruption in Venezuela.

 

With the DOJ's aggressive enforcement against bribery and money laundering schemes all over the world, it is more critical than ever for companies to evaluate their FCPA and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance risk, and establish or improve their Anti-Corruption and AML Compliance Programs to mitigate such risks. The attorneys and advisors at MDO Partners have extensive experience advising clients on the FCPA and effective Anti-Corruption and AML Compliance Programs in over 30 countries. 

 

About MDO Partners

 

MDO Partners is a boutique law firm that focuses on Corporate, International, and Real Estate Law, as well as Global Compliance and Business Ethics. The firm is comprised of a solid team of attorneys and advisors with more than 100 years of combined experience who are committed to the business goals and best interests of their clients. The firm delivers value-added services of the highest caliber, and serves as a trusted advisor to its clients with a practical and business-savvy approach. For more information on MDO Partners, please visit www.mdopartners.com

 

If you have questions or comments regarding this Alert, please contact the attorney or advisor listed below.

 

Richard Montes de Oca

Managing Partner

305.704.8452

rmontes@mdopartners.com

 

Javier Jaramillio

Compliance Advisor

786.295.6644

jjaramillo@mdopartners.com

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