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Venezuela Scandal Grows as Ex-PDVSA Finance Chief Pleads

  • Abraham Ortega is second person to admit guilt in Miami case
  • Ortega cooperating with prosecutors eyeing President Maduro
Gas Stations As Venezuela's Fuel Shortage Is Getting Worse
Photographer: Wil Riera/Bloomberg
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The U.S. money-laundering scandal involving $1.2 billion stolen from Venezuela’s state-owned oil producer expanded with the guilty plea of the company’s former executive director of financial planning, who’s helping prosecutors investigating Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and others.

Abraham Edgardo Ortega, 51, admitted Wednesday in federal court in Miami that he took $17 million in cash bribes and that he conspired to launder money looted from Petroleos de Venezuela S.A., known as PDVSA. Ortega is one of nine people charged by U.S. prosecutors since July, and he’s the second to admit guilt and cooperate. On Monday, Matthias Krull, a former Swiss banker at Julius Baer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.