Two Former Senior Venezuelan Prosecutors Charged for Receiving Over $1 Million in Bribes
Two former senior Venezuelan prosecutors have been charged with money laundering for their receipt of bribes in exchange for agreeing not to pursue criminal charges against certain individuals in Venezuela.
According to the indictment, Daniel D’Andrea Golindano (D’Andrea), 43, and Luis Javier Sanchez Rangel (Sanchez), 35, both of Venezuela, are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of engaging in monetary transactions in criminally derived property.
The indictment alleges that, in or around 2017, D’Andrea and Sanchez, in their official roles as prosecutors within the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office, were investigating an individual, identified as Contractor 1 in the indictment, for alleged corruption relating to contracts obtained with subsidiaries of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company (PDVSA). D’Andrea and Sanchez discussed and agreed to receive bribes of more than $1 million in exchange for not pursuing criminal charges against Contractor 1 and others.
According to the indictment, D’Andrea caused a co-conspirator to create false invoices seeking payment, purportedly for medical diagnostic equipment, from Contractor 1. In or around 2017, Contractor 1 caused the payment of over $1 million dollars to an account in the Southern District of Florida for the benefit of D’Andrea and Sanchez. As a result of this payment, D’Andrea and Sanchez caused the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office not to seek criminal charges against Contractor 1 and others. D’Andrea and Sanchez used the proceeds from these bribes for their personal benefit.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering and up to 10 years in prison for each count of engaging in transactions in criminally derived property. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. The defendants are in Venezuela and remain at large.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida, and Special Agent in Charge Anthony Salisbury of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami office made the announcement.
Trial Attorney Alexander Kramer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael N. Berger of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section has lead responsibility for investigating and prosecuting all Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.