US: Sanctions for TV mogul, Venezuelan firms over $2 billion scam
10 Jan 2019

The US has imposed sanctions on the owner of a TV station, former Venezuelan government officials and other companies it says were part of a bribery and currency exchange scheme that generated over $2.4 billion in corrupt proceeds.

Venezuelan officials plundered funds from the government through conducting illegal foreign exchange operations as a part of a network which involved widespread bribery, the US Treasury said.

All individuals involved in the scheme allegedly spent their proceeds on properties in the US as well as through maintaining significant accounts in U.S. banks, and purchasing boats and planes that were registered in the United States.

TV mogul Raul Gorrin Belisario, who owns Globovision Tele C.A , was among those hit with the new sanctions.

In August 2018, he was indicted for for conspiring to bribe Venezuelan officials and commit money laundering by hiding embezzled government funds, totaling more than $1 billion in Florida and New York.

Globovision Tele C.A was also designated.

Efforts to get a comment from Gorrin and Globovidion were not successful. A top Venezuelan government official reportedly dismissed the US sanctions against the several Venezuelan firms as ‘arbitrary and illegal.’

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