Venezuelans stole funds via Swiss acounts: FBI

A senior Venezuelan government bank official has been charged in the United States for using fake transactions to steal millions of dollars which were sent to Swiss and US accounts, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.

Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez, finance and fund manager at the state development bank Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social (Bandes), was arrested Friday and charged in a federal court in Miami along with two traders, Tomas Alberto Clarke and Jose Alejandro Hurtado.

The identity of the Swiss bank or banks was not disclosed.

According to the indictment since 2008, the traders, who worked at Broker-Dealer, started a company with trading services for businesses and institutional clients.
   
They agreed with the Bandes executive Gonzalez to represent her interests 
in the US market.
   
Then between April 2009 and June 2010, the three set up a system of fake 
payments, the indictment said. Gonzalez would send the men Bandes funds for operations that in fact skimmed the funds and banked them in Swiss accounts, as well as accounts in Miami.
   
Global Markets had at least $60 million in Bandes business alone, 
the charge sheet said.
   
"As alleged, the defendants conspired to use Venezuela's (government) 
economic development bank as their personal piggy bank," an FBI statement said.


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