On May 4, 2021, in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Gustavo Adolfo Hernandez Frieri, a former investment advisor in Miami, was sentenced to 46 months in prison for his role in a scheme to launder millions of dollars in bribe payments made to an employee of the Venezuelan state-owned oil company Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PdVSA). Frieri was also required to pay $50,000 in criminal fines.
In November 2019, Frieri pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering as part of a plea agreement reached with federal prosecutors. According to his factual proffer, in 2016 and 2017 Frieri laundered $12 million in bribe payments for Abraham Edgardo Ortega, the Executive Director of Financial Planning at PdVSA at the time. Frieri admitted that he was aware that there was a high probability that the funds were “criminally derived proceeds.” In exchange for corrupt acts and decisions by Ortega in his position at PdVSA, Frieri conspired with Ortega and others to launder the bribe payments received by Ortega using shell companies and falsified contracts.