February 9, 2023

Luis Fernando Vuteff arrested for alleged laundering related to PDVSA

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(Cnn in Spanish) — Luis Fernando Vuteff, an Argentine businessman who is accused of participating in a $1.2 billion international money laundering scheme involving Venezuela’s state-owned energy company, was arrested Thursday, the Immigration and Customs Service’s investigative department announced. US Customs Control on his verified Twitter account.

According to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida in July, Vuteff, 51, is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering as part of a scheme to launder funds allegedly corruptly obtained from Petroleos of Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA).

In the statement, US authorities allege that, between December 2014 and August 2018, Vuteff conspired with others to launder the proceeds of an illegal bribery scheme using the US financial system, as well as various bank accounts located abroad.

Authorities say Vuteff laundered illicit proceeds through a corrupt foreign exchange scheme that involved bribery of Venezuelan officials.

Ed Shohat, Vuteff’s defense attorney, told CNN that his client “has agreed to his extradition to the United States and has every intention of pleading not guilty and addressing the charges against him in the due course of court proceedings.”

CNN is reaching out to Venezuelan officials for comment.

If convicted, Vuteff could face up to 20 years in prison.

With information from Osmary Hernandez



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