Venezuelan Former Owner of Dominican Republic Bank Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Money Laundering Conspiracy

A former owner of Banco Peravia bank in the Dominican Republic was sentenced to three years imprisonment today for his role in a billion-dollar money laundering scheme involving currency exchange.

U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan of the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Mark Selby of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Miami Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Mark B. Dawson of HSI’s Houston Field Office, Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Field Office and Inspector General Jay N. Lerner of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) Washington, D.C. Office made the announcement.

Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray (Jimenez), 50, a Venezuelan citizen residing in Chicago, Illinois and former owner of Banco Peravia bank, was sentenced today to three years in prison by U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida. Jimenez pleaded guilty under seal on March 20, 2018 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

As part of his guilty plea, Jimenez admitted that, as part of the scheme, he conspired with co-conspirator Raul Gorrin Belisario, 50, and others to acquire Banco Peravia, through which he helped launder bribe money and scheme proceeds. 

Jimenez and his co-conspirators made the decision to use Banco Peravia to pay bribes to Venezuelan government officials in exchange for contracts to conduct currency exchange schemes and to launder the money obtained from running those currency exchange schemes.  Jimenez facilitated illegal transactions and bribe payments to foreign officials and others via bank issued credit cards, cash disbursements, wire transfers and other financial transactions, he admitted. 

 FUENTE:  United States Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan Southern District of Florida

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