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Enforcement Action Dataset

 

Initiation Date:    08/23/2017  Information

Prosecuting Agency:    US Department of Justice

Name of Prosecuting Attorneys:   

  • Abe Martinez, Acting U.S. Attorney
  • John P. Pearson, Deputy Chief
  • Robert S. Johnson, Assistant United States Attorney
  • Sandra L. Moser, Acting Chief, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Aisling O'Shea, Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Jeremy R. Sanders, Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Sarah E. Edwards, Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Kristine Rollinson, Assistant United States Attorney
  • Ryan K. Patrick, United States Attorney

Assisting Agencies:    Internal Revenue Service , Swiss Federal Office of Justice , Spanish Guardia Civil

Type of Action:    DOJ Criminal Proceeding

Docket or Case Number:    17-cr-514

Court:    S.D. Texas

Origin of the Proceeding:    Unknown

Whistleblower:    Unknown

Case Status:    Ongoing


Summary  Information

Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. ("PDVSA"), the state-owned and state-controlled oil company in Venezuela. Among its subsidiaries were Bariven S.A., which was its procurement subsidiary responsible for equipment purchases, and PDVSA Services, Inc., which was PDVSA's U.S.-based affiliate located in Houston, Texas, and which was responsible for international purchasing on behalf of PDVSA

Roberto Enrique Rincon-Fernandez ("Rincon") was a resident of Texas who controlled, together with others, a number of closely held companies, which were used to secure contracts with PDVSA.

Abraham Jose Shiera-Bastidas ("Shiera") was a Venezuelan national who resided in Florida and controlled, together with others, a number of closely held companies, which were used to secure contracts with PDVSA.

Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez ("de Leon"), a dual citizen of the United States and Venezuela, had previously been employed by the Venezuelan government, but was a private citizen during the time at issue.

Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas ("Villalobos"), aka "Enano," a citizen of Venezuela, had previously been employed by the Venezuelan government, but was a private citizen during the time at issue.

Cesar David Rincon-Godoy ("Cesar Rincon"), aka "Primo," a citizen of Venezuela, was employed by PDVSA and Bariven, where he worked as the general manager.

Alejando Isturiz-Chiesa ("Isturiz"), aka "Piojo" or "Paulo," a citizen of Venezuela, was an assistant to the president of Bariven.

Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz ("Reiter"), aka "Nadal," a citizen of Venezuela, was head of security and loss prevention at PDVSA.

Javier Alvarado-Ochoa ("Alvarado"), aka "Electrico," a citizen of Venezuela, was the President of Bariven.

Daisy Teresa Rafoi-Bleuler ("Rafoi"), a citizen of Switzerland, was a partner in an unidentified Swiss wealth management firm who acted as an agent of de Leon, Shiera, Rincon, and their U.S.-based companies.

Paulo Jorge da Costa Casquiero-Murta ("MURTA"), a citizen ofPortugal and Switzerland, was an employee of a different Swiss wealth management firm who acted as an agent of De Leon, Shiera, Rincon, and their U.S.-based companies.

According to the allegations made in the indictment, between at least 2011 and 2013, de Leon and Villalobos engaged in a conspiracy with Rincon and Shiera, as well as others, to bribe Venezuelan officials, including Cesar Rincon, Isturiz, and Reiter, at PDVSA and its subsidiaries in order for Rincon and Shiera to obtain lucrative contracts with PDVSA as well as the opportunity to receive payment priority over other PDVSA vendors on outstanding PDVSA invoices. It was further alleged that de Leon and Villalobos directed Rincon and Shiera to pay the bribes through a variety of Swiss bank accounts in an effort to disguise the bribery and to help ensure that Rincon and Shiera did not end up subjects of internal PDVSA investigations.

On August 23, 2017, the DOJ filed a twenty count indictment under seal in the Southern District of Texas against de Leon, Villalobos, Cesar Rincon, Isturiz, and Reiter alleging (1, 3) conspiracy to commit money laundering, (2) conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, and (4-20) money laundering and aiding and abetting money laundering. The case was unsealed and announced by the DOJ on February 12, 2017.

According to the DOJ press release issued at the time of the unsealing, de Leon, Villalobos, Cesar Rincon, and Reiter were all arrested in Spain in October 2017 by Spanish authorities on arrest warrants based on the indictment filed here.

Spain extradited Cesar Rincon on February 9, 2018, and he made his initial court appearance on February 12. According to the docket in this case, Cesar Rincon pled guilty on April 19, 2018, but the plea agreement remains under seal. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 26, 2020.

On July 13, 2018, the DOJ filed a two count information in the case against de Leon alleging conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to launder money. On July 16, 2018, the DOJ announced that de Leon had entered into a plea agreement. He is scheduled to be sentenced on October 26, 2020.

On April 24, 2019, the DOJ filed a superseding indictment under seal that added Ochoa, Rafoi, and Murta as defendants. The indictment was unsealed on September 4, 2019.

Villalobos and Reiter appear to remain in Spain pending extradition, and Isturiz remains a fugitive.

This case is ongoing.

The DOJ charged Rincon and Shiera in a separate proceeding filed on December 10, 2015.

Country(ies) involved:    Venezuela

Region(s) involved:    Latin America

Total $ Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    $7,033,505

Sanction to Bribe Ratio:    Not Applicable

Sanction to Revenue Ratio:    Not Applicable

Sanction to Profit Ratio:    Not Applicable

FCPA Matter Name:   Multiple Parties' Involvement with PDVSA in Venezuela between 2008 and 2017 Information

Number of Related Enforcement Actions (Including This Enforcement Action):    23

Country(ies) involved:    Venezuela

Region(s) involved:    Latin America

Total $ Bribery Payments:    Unknown

Total $ Revenue Generated from Bribery:    Unknown

Total $ Profit Earned or Expenses Avoided from Bribery:    Unknown

Total $ Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    $62,334,255

Sanction to Bribe Ratio:    Not Applicable

Sanction to Revenue Ratio:    Not Applicable

Sanction to Profit Ratio:    Not Applicable

Name:    Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez

Employers & Positions:   

Country:    United States, Venezuela

FCPA Claims:    Anti-Bribery, Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (28 U.S.C. § 2461; 18 U.S.C. § 981) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Domestic Concern ; Conspirator


Name:    Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas

Employers & Positions:   

Country:    Venezuela

FCPA Claims:    Anti-Bribery, Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (28 U.S.C. § 2461; 18 U.S.C. § 981) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Conspirator


Name:    Cesar David Rincon-Godoy

Employers & Positions:    Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. - Employee ; Bariven S.A. - General Manager

Country:    Venezuela

FCPA Claims:    None

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Not Applicable


Name:    Alejandro Isturiz-Chiesa

Employers & Positions:    Bariven S.A. - Assistant to the President

Country:    Venezuela

FCPA Claims:    None

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Not Applicable


Name:    Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz

Employers & Positions:    Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. - Head oof Security and Loss Prevention

Country:    Venezuela

FCPA Claims:    None

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Not Applicable


Name:    Javier Alvarado-Ochoa

Employers & Positions:    Bariven S.A. - President

Country:    Venezuela

FCPA Claims:    None

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Not Applicable


Name:    Daisy Teresa Rafoi-Bleuler

Employers & Positions:    - Partner in Unidentified Company

Country:    Switzerland

FCPA Claims:    Anti-Bribery, Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 1956) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing Money Laundering (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (28 U.S.C. § 2461; 18 U.S.C. § 981) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Conspirator


Name:    Paulo Jorge da Costa Casquiero-Murta

Employers & Positions:    - Employee of Unidentified Company

Country:    Portugal, Switzerland

FCPA Claims:    Anti-Bribery, Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Criminal Forfeiture (28 U.S.C. § 2461; 18 U.S.C. § 981) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Conspirator

Name:    Bariven S.A.

Entity Type:    Subsidiary

Place of Incorporation:    Venezuela

HQ Country(ies):    Venezuela

Industry:   


Name:    Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.

Entity Type:    Government Entity

Place of Incorporation:    Venezuela

HQ Country(ies):    Venezuela

Industry:    Government

Period of Bribery:   2011 - 2013

Total Bribery Payments:    Unknown

Total Revenue Generated from Bribery:    Unknown

Total Profit Earned or Expenses Avoided from Bribery:    Unknown

Country(ies) involved:    Venezuela

Region(s) involved:    Latin America

Officials Potentially Influenced (Name; Title; Organization): 

  • Alejandro Isturiz-Chiesa; Assistant to the President; Bariven S.A.
  • Cesar David Rincon-Godoy; General Manager; Bariven S.A.
  • Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz; Head of security and loss prevention; Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.
  • Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz; Head of security and loss prevention; Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.

Affiliates, Subsidiaries and Joint Ventures Involved in the Misconduct:    None/Unknown

Third-Party Intermediary:   

  • Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez , Agent/Consultant/Broker
  • Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas , Agent/Consultant/Broker

Type of Bribe:   Money, Travel/Lodging, Automobile/Vehicle, Jewelry/Various Luxury Items, Entertainment/Recreation, Meals

Cash, Wire or Check:    Wire Transfer

Purpose of Bribe:    Obtain/retain business

TRANSACTION OVERVIEW
Payments to PDVSA

Period of Bribery:   2011 – 2013

Total Bribery Payments:    Unknown

Total Revenue Generated from Bribery:    Unknown

Total Profit Earned or Expenses Avoided from Bribery:    Unknown

Country(ies) involved:    Venezuela

Region(s) involved:    Latin America

Officials Potentially Influenced (Name; Title; Organization):  

  • Cesar David Rincon-Godoy; General Manager; Bariven S.A.;
  • Alejandro Isturiz-Chiesa; Assistant to the President; Bariven S.A.;
  • Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz; Head of security and loss prevention; Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A.;
  • Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz; Head of security and loss prevention; Petroleos de Venezuela S.A.;

Affiliates, Subsidiaries and Joint Ventures Involved in the Misconduct:    None/Unknown

Third Party Intermediary:    Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez - Agent/Consultant/Broker
Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas - Agent/Consultant/Broker

Type of Bribe:   Money, Travel/Lodging, Automobile/Vehicle, Jewelry/Various Luxury Items, Entertainment/Recreation, Meals

Cash, Wire or Check:    Wire Transfer

Purpose of Bribe:    Obtain/retain business

Not Applicable

Mitigating Factors Referenced by the Government (Individual Defendants):

Defendant Cooperation
Alejandro Isturiz-Chiesa  
Cesar David Rincon-Godoy  
Daisy Teresa Rafoi-Bleuler  
Javier Alvarado-Ochoa  
Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez  
Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas  
Paulo Jorge da Costa Casquiero-Murta  
Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz  

Aggravating Factors Referenced by the Government (Individual Defendants):

Defendant Insufficient Cooperation
Alejandro Isturiz-Chiesa  
Cesar David Rincon-Godoy  
Daisy Teresa Rafoi-Bleuler  
Javier Alvarado-Ochoa  
Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez  
Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas  
Paulo Jorge da Costa Casquiero-Murta  
Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz  

Total Global Monetary Sanctions (All Charges):    $7,033,505

Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    $7,033,505

Total Monetary Sanctions Owed to U.S. Government (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    $7,033,505

Case Status:    Ongoing


Disposition:    Undetermined

Date of Disposition:    Undetermined

Nervis Gerardo Villalobos-Cardenas

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A


Rafael Ernesto Reiter-Munoz

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A


Javier Alvarado-Ochoa

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A


Daisy Teresa Rafoi-Bleuler

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A


Paulo Jorge da Costa Casquiero-Murta

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A


Disposition:    Fugitive

Date of Disposition:    Undetermined

Alejandro Isturiz-Chiesa

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A


Disposition:    Plea Agreement (Sentence Pending, Forfeiture/Disgorgement Ordered)

Date of Disposition:    04/19/2018

Cesar David Rincon-Godoy

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    $7,033,505

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A

—  Admission of Guilt/Acceptance of Responsibility:    Yes


Disposition:    Plea Agreement (Sanctions Undetermined)

Date of Disposition:    07/16/2018

Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez

—  Total Monetary Sanctions Imposed by U.S. Government for Defendant (FCPA-Related Charges Only):    N/A

—  Imprisonment/Incarceration:    N/A

—  Probation/Supervised Release:    N/A

—  House Arrest:    N/A

—  Community Service:    N/A

—  Admission of Guilt/Acceptance of Responsibility:    Yes

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