Since 2015, US and European courts have indicted over fifty individuals in criminal cases exposing money laundering and bribery connected to Venezuela’s state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA).
In June 2016, US-based businessman Roberto Enrique Rincon-Fernandez pleaded guilty to conspiracy, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and fraud in US federal criminal case USA v. Rincon-Fernandez regarding PDVSA bribery. According to the Justice Department, the bribe money was laundered through the United States.
In August 2018, the US filed indictments against eight individuals in another case, USA v. Guruceaga, for their role in a scheme to embezzle $1.2 billion dollars from PDVSA.
In September 2017, the US Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued an advisory to financial institutions on methods used by Venezuelan officials to launder their illicit funds. Among FinCEN’s “red flags” were transactions for the purchase of real estate, primarily in the South Florida and Houston, Texas regions, by current or former Venezuelan officials, their family members, and associates.