On August, 4, 2021, Naman Wakil, a Syrian national residing in Florida, made an initial appearance in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida in connection with an indictment charging him with bribing Venezuelan government officials in exchange for obtaining contracts from Venezuela’s state-owned food purchasing company Corporación de Abastecimiento y Servicios Agrícola (CASA) and from joint ventures between Venezuela’s state-owned energy company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) and various foreign companies.
According to a DOJ Press Release, between 2010 and 2017, Wakil conspired with others to bribe officials at CASA and the PDVSA joint ventures in order to obtain at least $250 million in contracts to sell food to CASA and do business with the joint ventures (including obtaining at least $30 million in highly inflated contracts to provide goods and services to the PDVSA joint ventures). Wakil allegedly laundered funds related to the bribery scheme through multiple south Florida bank accounts and used the funds to purchase ten apartment units in Florida, a $3.5 million plane. and a $1.5 million yacht, among other things.
Wakil is scheduled to be arraigned on September 1, 2021.