Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s daughter used laundered funds for US luxury lifestyle


Maria Gabriela Chávez, daughter of former president Hugo Chávez, has been accused of enriching herself through money laundering

The daughter of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez allegedly used a secret bank account in the United States for two years to make million-dollar purchases, adding to a long list of money-laundering accusations against the Chávez family.

According to a report by Diario Las Américas, María Gabriela Chávez had access for two years to a bank account at the Mercantil Commercebank in Miami, opened in the name of her partner, Roberto Leyba. It was finally closed in 2016 on suspicion of containing funds from money laundering.

According to documents seen by the newspaper, the account received several deposits worth millions of dollars and made large transfers to third-parties.

- Advertisement -

Between the end of 2015 and mid-2016, the account was involved in several suspicious transactions. These included purchases made by María Gabriela Chávez at luxurious shops and restaurants in New York when she was a diplomatic representative for Venezuela at the United Nations, according to Diario Las Américas.

The newspaper explained that the account also received at least ten transfers from an account at the Bank of Cyprus in the name of Atlantides Shipping CO Ltd. These deposits were listed as “commissions” for the purchase of a boat, MV Speed Runner.

According to Diario Las Américas, documents from Florida regulatory bodies state that María Gabriela Chávez’s partner, Leyba, who has close ties to government agencies in Venezuela and with Citgo, a US subsidiary of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA, said the account was opened to cover personal expenses. The lawyer registered an annual income of around $800,000, distributed between a $300,000 salary and $500,000 from unspecified sources.

InSight Crime Analysis

It is difficult to accurately calculate the wealth of María Gabriela Chávez, given the accusations of corruption and money laundering that swirl around her. In 2015, media reports estimated she was the richest person in Venezuela, with around $4.2 billion in assets held in bank accounts in the United States and Andorra.

- Advertisement -

In 2018, María Gabriela Chávez was accused by Venezuela’s former attorney general, Luisa Ortega Díaz, of having benefited from a corruption network run by Alejandro Andrade, the country’s former national treasurer. Andrade was jailed in 2018 in the United States after pleading guilty to receiving more than $1 billion in bribes while holding public office.

In an interview, Ortega Díaz said that María GabrielaChávez had been facing two money-laundering investigations at the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office. One of those investigations also targeted her partner, Leyba.

In July 2014, María Gabriela Chávez was allegedly associated to a corruption scandal related to Venezuelan imports of rice and corn from Argentina.

At the end of September 2019, María Gabriela Chávez posted on Instagram that she was in Caracas but it is uncertain where she currently resides.

The United States has not so far included María Gabriela Chávez in its sanctions of Venezuelan officials believed to be involved in money laundering and drug trafficking. Officials on this list are forbidden from entering the United States, their assets and accounts in the country have been frozen and US companies are forbidden from having any commercial dealings with them.

Source: InsightCrime


Julius Baer to deny two former CEOs their bonuses over money laundering scandal

Julius Baer will withhold millions of francs in bonuses from its former chief executives Boris Collardi and Bernhard Hodler, as a result of a...

Goldman Sachs executives to cover part payments of $3 billion fines in 1MDB scandal

Nine current or former Goldman Sachs executives, including CEO David Solomon, will have to pay back hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation over...

Goldman Sachs agrees $3 billion settlement with US DoJ over 1MDB corruption scandal

Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay nearly $3bn (£2.3bn) in the US to end a probe of its role in Malaysia's 1MDB corruption scandal. The...

Hong Kong fines Goldman Sachs $350 million over 1MDB scandal

Goldman Sachs ignored multiple red flags over the multibillion-dollar fundraisings it arranged for state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Hong Kong’s financial regulator said on...

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton fires top aide who accused him of bribery

Lacey Mase, one of the top aides who accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of crimes including bribery and abuse of office, has been fired, she told The...

Subscribe For More

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


Latest News

This Week

Germany issues international arrest warrant for founders of law firm at the centre of Panama Papers

Germany has issued international arrest warrants for the two founders of the firm at the centre of the tax haven scandal exposed by the...

Former Malawi minister sentenced to six years in prison over passport corruption scandal

A court in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe on Thursday sentenced a former home minister to six years in prison after he was found guilty in...

Fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleads guilty in foreign agent case linked to 1MDB

Major Republican Party and Trump fundraiser Elliott Broidy pleaded guilty Tuesday to acting as an unregistered foreign agent, admitting to accepting millions...

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan admits casino ‘enabled’ money laundering

Crown Resorts chairman Helen Coonan has conceded the casino giant facilitated money laundering at its Melbourne casino, but blamed it on "ineptitude" rather than...

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