Justice Dept. gets guilty plea in major bribery and money laundering probe
The U.S. Justice Department secured another guilty plea in its far-ranging investigation into Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, a parent to the Houston-based Citgo. A former procurement officer for Citgo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The guilty plea by Jose Luis De Jongh Atencio is related to a scheme to take bribes in exchange for contracts with Citgo and its Venezuelan parent company Petróleos de Venezuela SA. According to the U.S. Justice Department, at least 28 individuals have been charged so far for actions related to the investigation as a whole.
According to the Justice Department, De Jongh accepted more than $7 million in bribes. He parked that money in shell companies in Switzerland and Panama, and then he laundered it through various bank accounts in the U.S. and abroad.
De Jongh will be sentenced later this year. He faces a prison sentence up to 20 years.
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