Alejandro Andrade: Venezuela ex-treasurer jailed over $1bn bribes

One hundred dollar notes Image copyright Reuters

A courtroom in the U.s.a. has sentenced the former head of Venezuela’s treasury, Alejandro Andrade, to 10 years in jail for cash laundering.

Andrade, FIFTY FOUR, had pleaded responsible to taking $1bn in bribes in trade for offering access to preferential foreign currencies trade rates.

He has been dwelling in Florida, the place he owned jets, mansions, 17 show-leaping horses and a fleet of luxurious vehicles.

He will probably be jailed on 25 February.

His sentencing comes as Venezuela is in a crushing financial obstacle which has led to 3 million Venezuelans leaving the rustic, in keeping with figures released via he United Nation’s Migration Agency.

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Andrade was once a bodyguard to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez before being named head of Venezuela’s treasury, a place he held from 2007 to January 2011.

In addition, he was named head of Venezuela’s state-owned Economic and Social Building Financial Institution in 2008, making him considered one of the most powerful other people in Venezuela’s financial world.

Close ties

Venezuelan media have speculated whether the former lieutenant’s meteoric career used to be partly the end result of to emotions of guilt on the part of President Chávez after he broken Andrade’s eye in a recreation of “chapita”. The Game, which resembles baseball, involves one person throwing the steel cap of a bottle at any other, who attempts to hit it with a stick.

Court records show how Andrade took benefit of strict foreign money controls offered through President Chávez and used his position to “promote” get admission to to preferential exchange rates.

He allowed his co-conspirators to shop for bucks from Venezuela’s treasury at a set low price generally reserved for the purchase of key items akin to drugs, only for them to then promote the greenbacks at an enormous profit at the black marketplace.

In change, he won bribes value $1bn in the type of a mansion in Wellington, Florida, horses for his son’s Olympic equestrian targets and Rolex watches.

Image copyright Getty Images Symbol caption Alejandro Andrade had 17 horses, a few of which his son Emanuel used for show-jumping competitions

Below his plea deal, federal agents have seized 10 cars, including a Bentley, 3 Mercedes-Benz and a Porsche, 17 horses and the contents of 9 bank accounts.

The US attorney’s office alleges that a huge part of the bribes got here from Raúl Gorrín, a Venezuelan media magnate who has been charged with money laundering through the us government. The indictment was once unsealed remaining week.

Mr Gorrín bought competition TV channel Globovisión in 2003 and then the channel’s line softened considerably with him at the helm.

Like Andrade, Mr Gorrín has been residing in Florida and, consistent with his indictment, has been the usage of banks within the US to launder cash.

According to court documents, Mr Gorrín is regarded as to be a fugitive.

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