Saturday, October 31, 2020

Venezuelan businessman charged in PDVSA money laundering case gunned down by motorcycle assassin

-

A Venezuelan businessman charged in Miami with laundering millions of dollars from oil contracts was gunned down Tuesday by a motorcycle assassin in Venezuela, according to authorities.

Leonardo Santilli died from several gunshot wounds in what police described as a possible professional hit, authorities said.

According to press reports, the businessman was inside his Toyota 4Runner SUV in a parking lot outside a pharmacy in the seaside city of Lecherias — east of Caracas — when his assailant approached the vehicle on a motorcycle around 5 p.m.

Witnesses said the assailant fired as many as eight times at Santilli before leaving on the motorcycle, according to those reports and an Instagram video. People at the scene tried to aid the businessman and took him in his own vehicle to a hospital before he died.

- Advertisement -

Miami lawyer Wifredo Ferrer, former U.S. attorney in South Florida, was representing Santilli in his money-laundering case. “We are truly saddened and shocked by this tragic event,” Ferrer said. “Our thoughts and prayers remain with Leo’s family during this very difficult time.”

In March, Santilli was charged in Miami with playing a central role as a broker in a nearly $150 million money-laundering scheme involving inflated oil contracts with the Venezuelan government under President Nicolás Maduro. Five subsidiaries of the state-owned oil company, PDVSA, sent the money to his two South Florida businesses to buy equipment and other supplies for them in 2014-2017, according to a criminal complaint.

Santilli spent about one-third of that money on actual goods for the PDVSA subsidiaries and then diverted the rest through South Florida bank accounts to himself, his family members, Venezuelan government officials and national oil company executives, according to the criminal complaint.

Over the past four years, federal prosecutors Michael Nadler and Michael Berger have charged more than a dozen Venezuelan businessmen and government officials with stealing billions of dollars from PDVSA through inflated contracts, sham loans and currency-exchange schemes. Several businessmen, including Santilli, have been charged with setting up companies and bank accounts in Miami to steer millions in bribes to state oil company executives and others.

- Advertisement -

According to the criminal complaint, prosecutors obtained warrants from a federal magistrate judge to freeze 17 bank accounts controlled by Santilli and his two companies in the Miami area. The total take: nearly $45 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment about Santilli’s death, but it is expected to seize his bank assets in Miami and continue the investigation into the PDVSA subsidiaries in Venezuela.

Original article on miamiherald.com

MUST READ

Actress Lori Loughlin begins 2-month prison sentence for role in college admissions scam

Actress Lori Loughlin reported to a federal prison in Northern California on Friday to start a two-month sentence for her role in a massive...

FirstEnergy fires CEO, other executives over Ohio bribery scandal

FirstEnergy Corp. has fired its CEO amid multiple federal investigations related to an Ohio nuclear bailout law passed year. The Akron-based utility company announced in a...

Ukraine’s court strips critical power from anti-corruption agency

Ukraine's Constitutional Court has stripped the country’s anti-corruption agency of some of its critical powers. The high court’s ruling published on October 28 declared it...

Former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak sent back to prison for 17 years in corruption case

Former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak was ordered back to prison on Thursday (Oct 29) as the country's Supreme Court upheld a 17-year jail...

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Subscribe For More

Get our daily notification on the latest financial crimes news around the World

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Nigerian court declines to issue international arrest warrant for fugitive ex-Petroleum Minister in corruption case

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, refused an application by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an arrest...

Former Jacksonville City Council members set for sentencing in fraud case

Former Jacksonville City Council members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown are scheduled to be in federal court Tuesday to begin a hearing on their...

Namibia probes oil firm Acer petroleum over bribes paid to government officials

THE mines and energy ministry says it is investigating allegations that an oil company bribed some senior officials to fast-track licence applications. The senior officials...

Indonesia sentenced stockbroker to life over fraudulent investment scheme

Renowned stockbroker Benny Tjokrosaputro was sentenced to life by the Jakarta Anticorruption Court on Monday evening for his role in a major graft scandal...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks