US court finds former Chávez treasurer guilty of collecting bribes
A day following her conviction, US Judges on Friday announced details of the method which revealed that an ex Hugo Chavez aide and her husband took home more than US$100 million in bribes.
Chavez’s former advisor Claudia Diaz was found guilty on Thursday by an US tribunal of tax evasion as a result of the payment of bribes by a mogul of the media to authorize high-value foreign exchange trades while she was head of Venezuela’s National Treasury Office.
Diaz, along with her husband Adrian Velasquez, accepted the bribes of millions of dollars and were found guilty of six counts of bribery in the Florida court according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice that was issued in December. 16.
The couple also took US 100 million dollars in payments in bribes from Raul Gorrin Belisario who is a multi-millionaire businessman from Venezuela who is the owner of the Globovision media company.
Gorrin, who is currently wanted for justice within the US and is a fugitive from justice in the US, was reported to have paid to the treasurer’s former boss to get access to Venezuelan National Treasury bonds at an affordable exchange rate, in exchange for millions of dollars in profit.
The bribe was concealed in cash, and was found stored in cardboard boxes belonging to alleged foreign companies, as well within Swiss bank accounts as well as international transfers made by the billionaire to buy private jets as well as finance the clothing line that was created by the couple who are who are accused of helping to launder money.
Diaz And Velasquez were exiled from Spain. They are known by the name of “nurse” and he’s called “the bodyguard” because he was a part of Chavez’s circle of friends from 1999 until 2013 , when the cancer he was suffering from passed away.
“Claudia Patricia Diaz Guillen and Adrian Jose Velasquez Figueroa were the ones to wash the money that Diaz received while she was National Treasury Secretary of Venezuela,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division.
“Diaz used her role as a public servant to sock her pockets with over $100 million. This money was allegedly deposited into her account. along with her associates used to buy private yachts and planes, and transferred through the U.S. financial system. No matter where they are, whether at home or abroad, The Criminal Division and its partners will fight hard against corruption and bribery, while also making corrupt officials accountable.”
“Unfortunately individuals who are in positions of power and public trust can break the trust and misuse their position to gain personal advantage,” said U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida.