Former Venezuela treasurer forfeits $1 billion in DOJ plea deal

Venezuela’s former national treasurer helped prosecutors bring an FCPA case against a media tycoon, and agreed as part of his own plea deal to forfeit $1 billion in personal assets.

Alejandro Andrade, 54, Venezuela’s national treasurer from 2007 to 2010, pleaded guilty in December 2017 to a money-laundering conspiracy.

As part of the plea agreement unsealed (pdf) Tuesday, Andrade forfeited $1 billion in personal assets, including bank accounts, aircraft, real estate, vehicles, horses, and watches.

Andrade lives in Wellington, Florida. He helped prosecutors bring an FCPA and money-laundering case against Raúl Gorrín, a Venezuelan who owns the Globovision news network.

Gorrín was charged in an August 2017 indictment unsealed Monday with bribing officials in Venezuela over at least a decade.

Prosecutors said Gorrín, 50, a Miami resident, bribed officials in the Venezuela National Treasury to help him evade currency controls and embezzle state funds.

Another co-conspirator with Gorrín, Gabriel Arturo Jimenez, pleaded guilty (pdf) under seal in March this year to a money-laundering conspiracy.

Jimenez, 50, a Venezuelan living in Chicago, owned Banco Peravia in the Dominican Republic. The DOJ said Gorrín used the bank to launder money embezzled from Venezuela.

Gorrín bribed Andrade and Jimenez with money and also provided them with “private jets, yachts, homes, champion horses, high-end watches and a fashion line,” the DOJ said.

Gorrin allegedly used a series of shell companies to hide the bribes.

He partnered with Jimenez to acquire Banco Peravia, the DOJ said.

Andrade’s sentencing is set for November 27 and Jimenez’s for November 29. Under their plea deals, they each face maximum sentences of up to 10 years in prison.

The DOJ charged Gorrín with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and nine counts of money laundering.

The FCPA Blog | November 21, 2018