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 Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A. ("PDVSA"), the state-owned and state-controlled oil company in Venezuela.
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.
From about 2009 through 2014, Rincon and Shiera, along with others, conspired to enrich themselves by obtaining and retaining lucrative energy contracts with PDVSA through corrupt and fraudulent means, including by paying bribes to PDVSA officials. Over the course of the scheme, Rincon and Shiera paid at least approximately $1.6 million in monetary bribes--as well as some additional undetermined amount for recreational travel, meals, and entertainment--to five separate PDVSA officials in order to secure those contracts.
On December 10, 2015, the DOJ filed an eighteen count sealed indictment in the Southern District of Texas against Rincon and Shiera alleging (1) conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, (2-10) direct violations of the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, (11) conspiracy to commit money laundering, and (12-18) money laundering. Shiera pled guilty on March 22, 2016, though the agreement remains sealed, so its details are unknown. Rincon pled guilty on June 16, 2016, though the agreement remains sealed, so its details are unknown. On November 18, 2020, the court entered two separate forfeiture orders against Shiera in the cumulative amount of $19,269,770.05. Rincon and Shiera are scheduled to be sentenced on August 19, 2021.