On March 8, 2022, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment of two former “senior” Venezuelan prosecutors, Daniel D’Andrea Golindano and Luis Javier Sanchez Rangel, on money laundering charges related to alleged bribes received in exchange for not pursuing charges against certain individuals in Venezuela. Each defendant has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and two counts of money laundering.
According to the indictment, while working for the Venezuelan Attorney General’s Office in or around 2017, D’Andrea and Sanchez were investigating an unnamed individual (Contractor 1) for allegations of corruption related to $150 million in contracts with subsidiaries of Petróleos de Venezuela, SA (PDVSA), Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled oil company. The indictment alleges that both defendants accepted more than $1 million in bribes in exchange for not pursuing criminal charges against Contractor 1 and others. In order to conceal the payments, D’Andrea and an unnamed co-conspirator created false invoices from a Florida corporation that purported that the company had provided $1 million dollars’ worth of equipment to Contractor 1. Contractor 1 then caused about $1 million to be deposited into the company’s bank account in Florida for the benefit of D’Andrea and Sanchez.
The DOJ press release states that both defendants are currently in Venezuela and remain at large.