U.S. Charges Ex-Venezuelan Officials in Alleged Money Laundering, Bribery Scheme

The U.S. Department of Justice has charged five ex-Venezuelan government officials with money laundering and other offenses as part of a broad scheme to “corruptly secure energy contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company,” the department announced on Monday. According to the indictment, the officials attempted to solicit bribes to potential clients in the U.S. and launder the bribe money through U.S. bank accounts and real estate investments. “Through cases like this, we are sending a strong message to corrupt foreign officials: if you launder your ill-gotten gains through the United States, you will be prosecuted,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan.