On May 6, 2021, Enrique Pinto-Franceschi, Franz Herman Muller-Huber, Jose Orlando Camacho, and Ivan Alexis Guedez were sentenced to prison in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas in connection with their role in a money laundering and bribery scheme involving Venezuela’s state-owned energy company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).
The DOJ filings state that between 2009 and 2013 Pinto-Franceschi and Muller-Huber bribed officials at PDVSA subsidiary PDVSA Services, Inc. (PSI), including Camacho and Guedez, in exchange for assisting a company identified as “Company A” in obtaining PDVSA business, and for prioritizing Company A invoices for payment. Muller-Huber and Pinto-Franceschi were the president and sales representative, respectively, of Company A, which the DOJ filings describe as a U.S.-based supplier of industrial equipment. As part of the scheme, Pinto-Franceschi and Muller-Huber created fictitious invoices and ultimately arranged to have more than $3 million in illicit payments sent to a Swiss bank account from which they paid bribes to Camacho and Guedez.
For their roles in the scheme, Pinto-Franceschi received a sentence of 24 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release, and forfeited over $985,000 in criminal proceeds; Muller-Huber received a sentence of 20 months’ imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release, and forfeited more than $285,000 in criminal proceeds; Camacho received a sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment and 2 years of supervised release, and forfeited more than $1.3 million in criminal proceeds; and Guedez received a sentence of 18 months’ imprisonment and 2 years of supervised release, and forfeited approximately $978,000 in criminal proceeds.
Sentencing (Pinto) | Plea Agreement (Pinto) | Docket Sentencing (Muller) | Plea Agreement (Muller) | Sentencing (Camacho) | Plea Agreement (Camacho) | Sentencing (Guedez) | Plea Agreement (Guedez) | DOJ Press Release (2019)