A federal judge in Texas sentenced to 18 months in prison to the Venezuelan businessman Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandezwho in 2016 pleaded guilty to his role in a plot to secure company contracts Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
The decision of the Judge Gray Millerof Southern Federal District of Texasimposed sentences of 18 months for each of the three charges in which Rincón admitted his guilt, but the three sentences will be concurrent.
Rincon pleaded guilty to violate the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Actto collaborate and assist in the violation of that law, and to make false returns on your federal taxes.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Rincón and his accomplices, including the Venezuelan Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidascontrolled several companies that they used to obtain contracts with the oil company controlled by the regime.
Between 2009 and 2014, Rincón and his collaborators conspired to obtain and retain those contracts through “corrupt and fraudulent” meansincluding paying bribes to PDVSA officials,” according to court documents obtained by EFE.
The conspirators paid at least $1.6 million in bribesin addition to additional funds for an indeterminate amount for travel, meals and entertainment for 5 PDVSA employees.
Rincon was arrested in December at his home in a Houston suburb after being charged.
The bribes and fraudulent relations in which Rincón would have incurred were perpetrated together with five PDVSA employees whose names were not revealed in the indictment filed in court, but who are fully identified by the US authorities.
The responsibilities of these PDVSA officials are basically in the purchasing and bidding area of the oil companysince they were the ones who finally selected the companies to which the contracts were awarded.
To substantiate the accusation, the investigators presented dozens of emails between the defendants and PDVSA officials detailing payments and alleged bribes for actions favored by Rincón companies for several million dollars.
In some cases, the companies from Rincón were the only ones that appeared on the final list as applicants to obtain the tenders, and for this reason he would have hidden his relationship with the companies that were seeking contracts with the oil company.
In June 2018, the Spanish Police arrested the son of Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandezwithin the framework of a operation against money laundering from the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA.
The arrest was carried out by agents of the Economic and Financial Crime Unit (Udef) of the Policein coordination with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor by order of the Court of Instruction number 27 of Madrid.
Jose Roberto Rinconaccording to the sources consulted by the Spanish newspaper abc, would have laundered millions of euros from PDVSA in Spain by purchasing real estate.
The case began with the judge of the National Court carmen lamelawho coordinated in June 2017 five registrations in Madrid within an investigation of the Portuguese Justice on the diversion of about 6,000 million euros from PDVSA executives of the Ministry of Energy of that country, of which 3 million ended up in Spain, reported EFE.
The instruction opened at laundering complaints against the directors of the state oil company in the time of Hugo Chávez. One of the main accused was the one who was president of the company and ambassador to the UN Raphael Ramirez.
(With information from EFE)
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