On November 19, 2019, Darwin Enrique Padron-Acosta was sentenced in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas to 18 months in prison. He had previously pleaded guilty, on October 17, 2016, to money laundering and conspiracy to violate the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
According to the facts stipulated in Padron-Acosta’s plea agreement, he owned several US-based energy companies that supplied equipment and services to Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PdVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, and its subsidiaries (including Bariven, SA). Padron-Acosta admitted to bribing PdVSA officials in exchange for their assistance in winning PdVSA contracts for Padron-Acosta’s companies, and for obtaining payments on existing contracts. He also admitted to using fake invoices to provide false justifications for the bribe payments.
In addition to receiving an 18 month prison sentence, Padron-Acosta was ordered to forfeit at least $9 million.