WASHINGTON – Carlos Kauffman, 35, one of five foreign nationals accused of acting and conspiring to act as an agent of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela ("Venezuela") within the United States without prior notification to the Attorney General of the United States, pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiring to act as an unregistered Venezuelan agent before U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lenard in Miami.
The plea was announced by R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Kenneth L. Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office. Sentencing has been scheduled for May 12, 2008, at 2:00 PM before Judge Lenard.
Kauffman is the second defendant to plead guilty in this case. On Jan. 25, 2008, Moises Maionica, 36, pleaded guilty to acting and conspiring to act as an illegal agent of the Venezuelan government. The case against co-defendants Antonio Jose Canchica Gomez, 37, Rodolfo Wanseele Paciello, 40, Franklin Duran, 40, is still pending. Trial is currently scheduled for June 23, 2008.
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its work in this investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas J. Mulvihill and Senior Trial Attorney Clifford I. Rones, of the Counterespionage Section at the Justice Department's National Security Division.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. A copy of this press release may be found on the Justice Department’s website at www.usdoj.gov, or on the website of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.