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2 Venezuelans plead guilty in US in widening corruption case

November 20, 2018

MIAMI (AP) — Authorities say a former Venezuelan government official and former owner of a Dominican Republic bank have pleaded guilty to money-laundering charges in a $1 billion bribery scheme.

Miami federal prosecutors said in a news release Tuesday that 54-year-old Alejandro Andrade and 50-year-old Gabriel Arturo Jimenez pleaded guilty months ago but their cases were sealed.

Andrade is a former Venezuelan national treasurer and Jimenez, a Venezuelan citizen, formerly owned Banco Peravia.

Prosecutors say Venezuelan media mogul Raul Gorrin paid Andrade and another official to conduct government transactions under favorable foreign currency exchange rates. Gorrin, head of Globovision network, is also charged but is a fugitive.

Andrade admitted getting $1 billion in bribes. Jimenez admitted the bank was used to launder bribery proceeds.

Authorities say Andrade will forfeit real estate, horses, vehicles and aircraft.

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