On April 19, 2018, Cesar David Rincon Godoy, a former general manager of the procurement subsidiary of Venezuelan state-owned energy company Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PDVSA”), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  The charge stemmed from an alleged scheme involving the payment of bribes by the owners of U.S.-based companies to Venezuelan government officials to secure contracts with PDVSA and payment priority on outstanding invoices.  According to admissions made in connection with his plea, Rincon conspired with several other then-current officials of PDVSA and other Venezuelan agencies to solicit bribes from vendors in exchange for providing assistance with the vendors’ dealings with PDVSA.  Rincon admitted to accepting bribes from the owners of two U.S.-based vendors and conspiring with these individuals to launder and conceal the origin of the bribes.  He further admitted to soliciting bribes from owners of other U.S.-based energy companies that did business with PDVSA.  According to DOJ, Rincon is the eleventh person to plead guilty in connection with the ongoing investigation into bribery involving PDVSA.

United States v. De Leon-Perez et al., 17-cr-00514 (S.D. Tex.)

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