Florida men found guilty of illegally transferring money from Venezuela




  • In US
  • 2017-11-17 23:03:42Z
  • By By Brendan Pierson

By Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The owners of a Florida construction equipment exporter were convicted of illegally transferring more than $100 million from businesses largely in Venezuela to U.S. and foreign bank accounts.

Luis Diaz Jr., 75, and his son, Luis Javier Diaz, 50, were found guilty late on Thursday of operating an unlicensed money transmitting business and of international money laundering by a jury in Manhattan federal court, court records showed. Prosecutors said some of the money was transferred into accounts belonging to Venezuelan government officials.

"The conviction of Luis Javier Diaz reflects how business persons can easily be unfairly ensnared by complex government regulations that are only understandable only to specialized lawyers and bureaucrats," Jose Quinon, a lawyer for Luiz Javier Diaz, said in an email.

A lawyer for Diaz Jr. could not immediately be reached.

The two were arrested in Miami in December 2016 and charged with using their Doral, Florida-based company, Miami Equipment & Export Co, to transfer funds for a fee. Prosecutors said the company was not registered with the state of Florida or with the U.S. Treasury Department, as required by Florida and U.S. law.

The company transferred money into and through the U.S. financial system without going through licensed financial institutions, which would report any suspicious activity to authorities, prosecutors said.

Diaz Jr. and Diaz transferred more than $100 million on behalf of KCT, a large Venezuelan consortium of construction companies, according to prosecutors. They transferred the money using fake invoices to make it appear the transfers had legitimate business reasons, prosecutors said.

Miami Equipment received about $1 million in fees for carrying out the transfers, prosecutors said.

The case is one of several that U.S. authorities have brought against individuals connected to Venezuela, including Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, nephews of the country's first lady who were convicted of drug trafficking conspiracy last year.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has called that case an instance of "U.S. imperialism." The United States has imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela.

Venezuela, an oil-producing nation of 30 million people, is suffering a fourth year of brutal recession, with the highest inflation in the world, shortages of food and medicines, and many people having to skip meals or suffering preventable illnesses.


(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler)

COMMENTS

More Related News

College Basketball Power Rankings: After a wild week, let
College Basketball Power Rankings: After a wild week, let's start this thing over

This was a lot harder than you think.

Venezuela socialists winning local vote, Maduro joyous
Venezuela socialists winning local vote, Maduro joyous
  • World
  • 2017-12-11 03:45:41Z

By Eyanir Chinea and Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government was on course to sweep Venezuela's nationwide mayoral elections on Sunday, deepening opposition disarray and strengthening his hand ahead of a likely 2018 re-election campaign. With three

Florida Doctor Delivers Baby At Gas Station
Florida Doctor Delivers Baby At Gas Station

A gas station in Florida became a makeshift delivery room this weekend after an obstetrician was flagged down while filling up his car

With foes absent, Venezuela
With foes absent, Venezuela's socialists to gain from local vote
  • World
  • 2017-12-10 06:06:17Z

By Andrew Cawthorne and Leon Wietfeld CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's ruling Socialist Party looked set to sweep Sunday's nationwide mayoral polls, deepening opposition splits and consolidating President Nicolas Maduro's position ahead of a likely 2018 re-election campaign. Major opposition

Saturday
Saturday's College Basketball Recap: Duke goes down, Florida rebounds, the Deandre Ayton show

Get caught up on everything you need to know about college hoops.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: US

facebook
Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.