Eleven Venezuelans with links to the Chavismo political movement of Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro spent more than $60 million on properties ranging from property worth $220,000 to a $17 million apartment, according to the journalistic investigation Chavismo Inc, an alliance between the NGO Transparencia Venezuela, the regional journalistic platform CONNECTAS and Venezuelan independent web media outlets Alianza Rebelde Investiga (ARI).
Of the 11 Venezuelans tracked in this work, two persons get linked to cases of corruption with Venezuelan oil company PDVSA. One of them is Roberto Rincon, a former PDVSA contractor, who pleaded guilty in 2015 for the laundering of $1 billion from the state-owned company.
The other Venezuelan is Carlos Erick Malpica Flores, former National Treasurer, and former chief financial officer of PDVSA, who is also the nephew of Cilia Flores, wife of Nicolas Maduro. Malpica Flores was accused of participating in the Money Flight case, a global scheme to launder and divert $1.2 billion from PDVSA.
“The list includes relatives of former government officials -the wife of Carlos Erick Malpica Flores-; former PDVSA officials -Alfonzo Gravina and Karina Nuñez, related to the Rincon plot-; and to high-profile Chavista contractors and members of their family or business circles –Naman Wakil, Ricardo Moron, wife Morela Hernandez de Moron, Maria Lila, and Jose Roberto Rincon, Atahualpa Fernandez Arbulu, Franz Muller and Amir Nassar Tayupe.
Of the 11 people investigated, four got charged by the US justice system. One is also including to the Clinton List of the Treasury Department.
The properties tracked by Chavismo Inc. were purchased between 2006 and 2019, mainly in Florida, in the Brickell neighborhood, in Texas, and New York City. Venezuelans rank as the top Latin Americans buying property on US soil, according to the National Association of Realtors.
“Most have made legal transactions in the real estate market, but others have been targeted by local law enforcement who are ahead of the game in the fight against corruption from Venezuela. In South Florida alone, which has attracted most migration, more than $450 million in assets have seized, some of which has been real estate. To date, 38 investigations and judicial cases involving more than 100 people have been started in the United States, evidencing the embezzlement of more than 16,049 million dollars from the Venezuelan State,” according to figures from Chavismo Inc.
Part of the purchases made in the name of family members and through previously registered companies. To know the details of these negotiations and the acquired properties, read the complete investigation in “The Newly Rich of the Neighborhood.”