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The Justice Department announced Feb. 26 that a former sales representative and the president of a Miami-based company have been charged with participating in a multi-year conspiracy to bribe three officials from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The indictment alleges that beginning in or around 2009 and continuing through at least 2013 the two defendants bribed these officials in exchange for assistance in obtaining additional contracts, inside information, and payment on past due invoices.
To date, the Justice Dept. has announced charges against 21 individuals – 15 of whom have pleaded guilty – as part of a larger, ongoing investigation by the U.S. government into bribery at the Venezuelan energy company in question. Two of the three officials the two defendants are accused of bribing have already pleaded guilty in connection with the case and are pending sentencing.