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Sat May 8, 2021, 09:21 PM

Former Venezuelan oil exec sentenced in $1B money laundering scheme

Prosecutors said funds were laundered through South Florida real estate
Miami / By Lidia Dinkova
May 08, 2021 02:00 PM

A former executive with Venezuela’s state-run oil company was sentenced to two years and four months in prison in connection with an alleged $1.2 billion money laundering scheme linked to South Florida real estate.

Abraham Edgardo Ortega, who was executive director of financial planning at PDVSA, admitted he accepted more than $12 million in bribes for his role, which allowed other Venezuelans who were charged to embezzle from the company, the Miami Herald reported.

Prosecutors allege “kleptocrats” made loans to the oil company that made them wealthy overnight, in part through Venezuela’s unique currency exchange system.

Ortega, who in 2018 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, was granted a reduced sentence from the five years in prison he faced for his cooperation with prosecutors, the Herald reported.


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Former PDVSA finance chief cops plea after taking $5 million in bribes
Richard L. Cassin
November 1, 2018
1:28 pm

The former executive director of financial planning at Venezuela’s state-owned oil company pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in a $1.2 billion embezzlement scheme.

Abraham Edgardo Ortega, 51, a Venezuelan national, pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to one count of a money laundering conspiracy.

. . .

Ortega admitted taking $5 million in bribes to give priority loan status to a French company and a Russian bank. Both were minority shareholders in joint ventures with Petroleos de Venezuela SA or PDVSA.

The bribe money came from $1.2 billion embezzled from PDVSA.


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