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Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Former Venezuelan National Treasurer Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Money Laundering Conspiracy Involving Over $1 Billion in Bribes

A former Venezuelan national treasurer was sentenced today for his role in a billion-dollar currency exchange and money laundering scheme.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Mark Selby of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Mark B. Dawson of HSI Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI Miami Field Office and Inspector General Jay N. Lerner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Washington, D.C. Office made the announcement.

Alejandro Andrade Cedeno (Andrade), 54, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Wellington, Florida and a former Venezuelan national treasurer, was sentenced today to 10 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida. Andrade pleaded guilty under seal on Dec. 22, 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  As part of his guilty plea, Andrade admitted that he received over $1 billion in bribes from co-conspirator Raul Gorrin Belisario, 50, and other co-conspirators in exchange for using his position as Venezuelan national treasurer to select them to conduct currency exchange transactions at favorable rates for the Venezuelan government.  Andrade received cash as well as private jets, yachts, cars, homes, champion horses, and high-end watches from his co-conspirators.  As part of his plea agreement, Andrade agreed to a forfeiture money judgment of $1 billion and forfeiture of all assets involved in the corrupt scheme, including real estate, vehicles, horses, watches, aircraft and bank accounts. 

HSI Miami, HSI Houston, HSI Boston, FBI Miami, and the FDIC D.C. investigated this case.  This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Vanessa Sisti Snyder, Paul A. Hayden and John-Alex Romano of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael B. Nadler and Nalina Sombuntham of the Southern District of Florida’s Criminal Division.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided significant assistance in this matter.  The Policía Nacional (Spanish National Police) also provided significant assistance. 

The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters.  Additional information about the department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
18-1549
Updated November 27, 2018