Two more guilty pleas in PDVSA bribe case

A Texas-based businessman who paid bribes to win work in Venezuela, and the corrupt official who took the bribes, pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston.

Juan Carlos Castillo Rincon (Castillo), 55, of Conroe, Texas, was the former manager of a Houston-based logistics and freight forwarding company.

He pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Castillo admitted bribing an official at Venezuela’s state energy company, Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. or PDVSA.

The official who took the bribes, Jose Orlando Camacho (Camacho), 46, of Miami, pleaded guilty in July 2017 to conspiracy to commit money laundering. His plea was unsealed Thursday.

Both are scheduled to be sentenced in Houston on February 21, 2019.

As part of their plea deals, Castillo and Camacho each agreed to “forfeit the proceeds of their criminal activity.”

The DOJ has now charged 18 defendants in the PDVSA bribery case. Fourteen have pleaded guilty.

The defendants include both vendors and former PDVSA officials.

The vendors are mostly charged with FCPA-related offenses while the former PDVSA officials generally face money laundering charges.

The FCPA Blog | September 13, 2018