On October 31, 2018, a former executive director at the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (“PDVSA”), pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from PDVSA.  Abraham Edgardo Ortega, who was PDVSA’s Executive Director of Financial Planning, admitted as part of his plea that in his position with PDVSA, he accepted $5 million in bribes to give priority loan status to a French company and a Russian bank, both of which were minority shareholders in joint ventures with PDVSA.  Ortega also admitted that he separately accepted $12 million in bribes for his participation in a PDVSA embezzlement scheme involving a loan and foreign-exchange contract, and then laundered those funds through a sophisticated false-investment scheme.

United States v. Ortega, No. 18-cr-20685 (S.D. Fla.)

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