May 2, 2021

Venezuelan businessman pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering

On April 19, 2021, Carlos Enrique Urbano Fermin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.  Fermin is a Venezuelan businessman who, through several companies he owned or controlled, supplied goods and services to subsidiaries of the state-owned oil company of Venezuela, Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).  According to the criminal Information to which he pled, Fermin bribed a high-ranking prosecutor in Venezuela to prevent criminal charges from being brought against his companies for allegedly engaging in “corrupt activities related to the procurement process at . . . PDVSA [s]ubsidiaries.”

Fermin admitted to wiring from the U.S. approximately $1,000,000 to an intermediary who alleged that he/she could prevent charges from being filed against Fermin’s companies as a result of the intermediary’s close relationship with the prosecutor.  This included an approximately $100,000 wire transfer to an account at a bank in Florida for the benefit of the intermediary.  According to the Factual Proffer, the Venezuelan prosecutor did not file charges against Fermin’s companies after the bribe payments were made. 

Fermin is scheduled to be sentenced on September 3, 2021.

Information| Plea Agreement |Factual Proffer | Docket Entries