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Los acusados en el caso Antonini involucrados en grandes operaciones de lavado de dinero

 

 

FROM A
DIFFERENT ANGLE by Kenneth Rijock
Financial Crime Consultant, for World-Check
Los acusados en el caso Antonini involucrados en grandes operaciones de lavado de dinero
The Antonini defendants ran a major money laundering operation
16 March 2008
Some of the defendants in the Miami case involving charges that they are covert foreign agents of the Venezuelan government were reportedly involved in a massive money laundering operation revolving around the purchase of yachts in Italy, using a South Florida company. Curiously, this information has not yet surfaced in any public manner. Perhaps those who believed that the defendants were unfairly targeted by the United States might want to know of a lesser-known aspect of their Florida activities. And don't forget that there is still an ongoing investigation into their alleged drug trafficking and related money laundering enterprises.
Here is how the scheme operated:

  • Certain of the Antonini case defendants purchased a high-end yacht brokerage firm in Florida, but did not appear as officers, directors or shareholders.

  • They deposited $9m into the company, which sum allowed them to place orders with Italian yacht manufacturers who reportedly cooperated with them in their illicit activities.

  • The multi-million dollar yachts were then delivered directly to straw men in Venezuela. One individual took title to five expensive yachts, and as a minor government functionary, he clearly not have sufficient funds to make their purchases.

  • The ultimate customers were composed mainly of the so-called "Bolivarian Elite," wealthy young associates of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias, who have each made millions of dollars from questionablebusienss dealing with their government.

  • Provided that these vessels are later titled in the name of anonymous corporate entities, and where beneficial ownership is not recorded, subsequent international sales, and profits, are nicely laundered.

Whether these assets figured into the decision of any of the defendants to change their plea to guilty is not known. the June trial, as well as Post-sentencing seizure and forfeiture filings may supply some public information into the money laundering  operation, and we shall be monitoring both closely.

Autor: Ricardo Ruette

Visto: 899

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