The Department of Justice reports that a former procurement officer of Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company has been sentenced to 70 months in prison for laundering the proceeds of a scheme to secure contracts with that company through bribery and for obstructing an investigation into bribes paid by the owner of U.S.-based companies to Venezuelan government officials to secure additional business with a U.S. subsidiary of that company. The man was also ordered to pay restitution of $215,000 to the Internal Revenue Service and previously forfeited nearly $600,000.
According to the DOJ, while employed as a purchasing manager the man accepted more than $590,000 in bribes from U.S.-based businessmen over seven years, which ultimately enabled their companies to win lucrative energy contracts with his. To conceal these payments the two businessmen transferred funds to the man from accounts they controlled outside the U.S. to accounts in the names of his associates and relatives.
After pleading guilty in December 2015, the man met periodically with U.S. agents to provide information regarding corruption at his company. However, he later admitted that during those interviews he concealed facts about bribe payments while also providing details about the government’s investigation to a subject of the investigation, which led to the destruction of evidence.
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