Govt Arrested and Charged for Bribery and Cash-Laundering Scheme | OPA

A South Florida resident was arrested yesterday in Miami for his alleged role in a scheme to bribe Venezuelan officials and laundering money to obtain contracts from Venezuela’s state and state-controlled energy company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), and Venezuela’s state and state-controlled food company who bought groceries for Venezuela, Corporación de Abastecimiento y Servicios Agrícola (CASA).

According to court documents, Naman Wakil, 59, of Miami, a Syrian national and legal permanent resident in the US from 2010 through at least September 2017, conspired with others to seek bribes to CASA officials and officials in joint ventures between PDVSA and. various foreign companies in Venezuela’s oil-rich Orinoco belt. Wakil allegedly paid these bribes to obtain contracts to sell food to CASA for at least $ 250 million and to do business with the PDVSA joint ventures, including receiving grossly inflated contracts (worth at least $ 30 million) to provide goods and services for the PDVSA joint ventures. Wakil laundered funds related to the bribery program to and from bank accounts in South Florida, including the purchase of 10 South Florida residential units, a $ 3.5 million airplane and a $ 1.5 million yacht. Wakil also used part of the funds to make payments to or for the benefit of Venezuelan officials.

Wakil is charged with three counts of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), violate the FCPA, conspiracy to commit money laundering, international advertising money laundering, and involvement in criminally derived property transactions. If convicted, Wakil faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine each sentence based on U.S. sentencing guidelines and other legal factors.

Wakil made his first appearance in federal court at 1:30 p.m. today before US judge Lauren Louis in Miami.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Department of Justice’s Department of Criminal Investigation, Acting U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in charge Anthony Salisbury of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami Field Office, and Acting Special Agent in charge Tyler R. Hatcher of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Miami Field Office made the announcement.

Trial Attorney Alexander Kramer of the Department of Justice Fraud and U.S. Assistant Attorney Michael Berger of the Southern District of Florida are pursuing the case.

The criminal fraud department is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. For more information on the Department of Justice’s FCPA enforcement efforts, please visit www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

An indictment is just an accusation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Harrison Township man hit with bribery, cash laundering fees for unlawful asbestos work

ON Harrison Township Man was charged with multiple crimes for misrepresenting project costs and bribery when running an asbestos removal company.

Kevin Woods faces financial penalties of up to $ 100,000 and several decades in jail after allegedly laundering money from subcontracting home demolition Detroit Landbank Authority.

In addition to bribing an employee of a large demolition company in the southeast Michigan He violated state law on contracts when employees of an air surveillance company he also owned did rework on homes where he had removed asbestos and made hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“While the complexity of this suspected financial crime cannot go unnoticed, I am grateful for the thorough work of my prosecutors and those in the office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program,” said Nessel.

Woods, 50, ran BBEK Environmental, an asbestos removal company labyrinthwas initially suspended from working with the city Detroit in July 2019. However, he signed contracts with the city in 2015.

For the next four years, BBEK was chosen frequently to do mitigation work for Adamo Group after Woods bribed Aradondo Haskins – an employee of the company – which allowed Woods to land contracts.

After the reduction was complete, air monitoring companies HC Consulting Services and Green Way Environmental performed post-work quality checks. Both companies are also owned by Woods and have made $ 400,000 in profits.

However, state law mandates that all post-reduction air quality checks must be performed by an independent third party separate from the subcontractor. Forest injured this rule for years.

“The law requiring air quality monitors to be independent of those who remove asbestos and other hazardous materials is critical to protecting the health and safety of Michigan communities. SIGTARP commends Michigan Attorney General Nettle for helping us stands by to prosecute this alleged violation of this law combined with bribery, “said Christy Goldsmith Romero, TARP’s Special Inspector General.

In addition, Woods allegedly forged project costs, which reduced the amount of money he owed the state licensing agency. He had to transfer 1% of the project costs to the Asbestos Removal Fund under the Asbestos Control Company Licensing Act, but devalued the projects he was working on by up to 50% to avoid paying.

A forensic review of the crimes revealed that he had defrauded the state of $ 26,000 in fees.

Woods turned into an agency on Tuesday and was indicted Wednesday morning. They include:

  • Four US $ 100,000 false positives, a 20 year crime;
  • A false scam count between $ 1,000 and $ 20,000, a five year crime;
  • A count of money laundering, a 10 year crime; and
  • A bribe count by an agent or employee, a year long offense

Haskins, who took bribes from Woods, was charged by the federal government with manipulating offers made to another contractor. He pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to have committed bribery and fraud with honest service. He has since served prison term.

Darkish cash group admits racketeering in bribery case | Information, Sports activities, Jobs

COLUMBUS – A dark money political group that was used in a $ 60 million bribery program to help Ohio pass nuclear weapons saving laws, authorities pleaded guilty on Friday.

Generation Now Inc. has also agreed to forfeit $ 1.5 million from two bank accounts in federal court in Cincinnati.

Jeffrey Longstreth, a co-defendant in the case who had previously pleaded guilty to his involvement in the program, represented Generation Now during the hearing on Friday.

U.S. District Judge Timothy Black has postponed an investigation and sentencing before the verdict pending the settlement of all defendants.

According to federal investigators, former Ohio House spokesman Larry Householder, Longstreth, and three others used the nonprofit Generation Now as a $ 60 million lead funded by Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. secretly provided. The money was reportedly used to secure householder power, elect allied lawmakers, and legislate approving the rescue of two $ 1 billion nuclear power plants operated by a FirstEnergy subsidiary.

The five men were charged with extortion in July. The head of household pleaded not guilty and is waiting for the trial. He has been stripped of his leadership post, but remains a state official who ranks elected officials from his heavily Republican district who have pushed for his removal.

Also on Friday, the Ohio Nominating Council’s Public Utilities Commission announced the names of four new finalists for the position created by then-PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo in November to Republican Governor Mike DeWine.

They are:

– Jenifer French, an attorney who lost a re-election bid to the Franklin County’s Common Pleas Court in November

– Virginia King, Associate Attorney General at Marathon Petroleum Corp. in Findlay, focused on the company’s sustainability efforts

– Daniel Shields, who worked for PUCO for 30 years, including as federal energy attorney, and for the last seven years with the Office of Consumer’s Counsel

– Melissa Shilling, a 17-year-old member of the State Environmental Auditing Appointment Board

In a rare move, DeWine declined the initial list sent to him on Jan. 27 and sent a letter to the panel stating that all candidates were in attendance “appropriate,” he preferred “To consider additional capable candidates” before making his decision. The move was quickly criticized by consumers who viewed at least one of the candidates as highly skilled.

The second list of semi-finalists did not contain duplicate names from the first list, which DeWine had rejected.

Randazzo was not charged in the bribery investigation. His resignation came days after the FBI and FirstEnergy searched his Columbus townhouse and found that former executives paid $ 4 million to the firm at an official meeting in Ohio that contained Randazzo’s description of terminating an alleged consulting contract. The payment came just before DeWine appointed Randazzo as PUCO chair.

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Gillispie reported from Cleveland.

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