Former director of Venezuela state oil company pleads guilty to billion-dollar money laundering

MIAMI, USA — A former executive director at the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA), pleaded guilty on Wednesday for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from PDVSA.

Abraham Edgardo Ortega, 51, a Venezuelan national, who was PDVSA’s executive director of financial planning, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2019, by US District Judge Kathleen Williams of the Southern District of Florida.

As part of his plea, Ortega admitted that, in his position with PDVSA, he accepted $5 million in bribes to give priority loan status to a French company and a Russian bank, which were both minority shareholders in joint ventures…

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