September 6, 2019

Defendant sentenced in Texas for money laundering in connection with Venezuela corruption scheme

On September 6, 2019, Jose Luis Ramos-Castillo was sentenced in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 18 months in prison.  He had previously pleaded guilty, on December 3, 2015 to two counts of conspiracy to launder money.  According to the facts stipulated in Ramos-Castillo’s plea agreement, he worked for Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PdVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, in various capacities from 2002 to 2013, including as a purchasing manager and superintendent of purchasing.  Ramos-Castillo admitted to receiving over $3 million in bribes during the period between 2009 and 2013 from two unnamed businessmen, in exchange for providing favorable treatment to these businessmen and for securing contracts between PdVSA and companies owned by these businessmen.  Ramos-Castillo also conspired with the businessmen to launder the proceeds of these bribes.

In addition to receiving an 18 month prison sentence, Ramos-Castillo was ordered to pay a fine of $15,000 and to forfeit $7.8 million, some of which ($1.3 million) has been satisfied with proceeds from the sale of three condominiums, a house, and the contents of a bank account.