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U.S. v. Roberto Enrique Rincon-Fernandez, Abraham Jose Shiera-Bastidas

 
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Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas
:
DOJ Criminal
:
December 10, 2015
:
U.S. v. Roberto Enrique Rincon-Fernandez, Abraham Jose Shiera-Bastidas
:
U.S. v. Roberto Enrique Rincon-Fernandez, Abraham Jose Shiera-Bastidas, No. 4:15-cr-654 (S.D. Tex. 2015)
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Refinery
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Venezuela
:
2009; 2010; 2011; 2012; 2013; 2014
:
Five unnamed officials from the Venezuelan state owned oil and natural gas company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. (“PDVSA”).
:
Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas, a Venezuelan national that resided in Florida, controlled, along with others, a series of unnamed closely held companies which were allegedly used to secure contracts from PDVSA. Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandez, a resident of Texas and permanent resident of the United States, like Shiera, controlled, along with others, a series of unnamed closely held companies that were allegedly used to secure contracts from PDVSA.

According to an indictment filed in the Southern District of Texas, beginning in 2009, Rincon and Shiera allegedly agreed to bribe officials at PDVSA to secure lucrative energy contracts for Rincon’s and Shiera’s companies. To execute the alleged scheme, the Government argued that Rincon and Shiera attempted to bribe PDVSA officials in exchange for rigging a competitive bidding process in Rincon’s and Shiera’s favor. Specifically, according to the indictment, PDVSA awarded its project contracts by way of “bidding panels” composed of companies that would be invited to bid on a particular project. The “bidding panels” were compiled by one of a number of PDVSA officials. Rincon and Shiera allegedly bribed those PDVSA officials responsible for selecting the “bidding panels” with money as well as travel, meals, and other entertainment in exchange for agreeing to place one or more of Rincon’s and Shiera’s closely held companies on the panels and directing the contracts to one of Rincon’s and Shiera’s companies.

Although Rincon and Shiera are accused of controlling the award of the PDVSA contracts, they allegedly sought to place several of their closely held companies on the bidding panels to create the illusion that the contracts were awarded through a competitive bidding process. According to the indictment, Rincon, Shiera, and PDVSA officials made efforts to conceal the fact that Rincon and Shiera controlled several of the companies on the bidding panels.

Once awarded the project contracts, Rincon and Shiera allegedly wired funds from their closely held companies to bank accounts or entities controlled by the officials, the officials’ relatives, or other designated individuals. The payments were frequently referred to as “commissions” for equipment or services that were allegedly never provided. In total, the Government claims that Shiera and Rincon paid approximately $790,000 in bribes to a group of unnamed PDVSA officials in exchange for approximately $16 million in project contracts.

On December 16, 2015, Shiera was brought into custody by U.S. officials. According to a criminal indictment that was unsealed on December 21, 2015, Shiera was charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and the federal money laundering statute along with substantive counts of the offenses.
:
Aiding and abetting anti-bribery, Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Anti-bribery (Other Persons), Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
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Conspiracy - Money Laundering, Money Laundering
:
Not stated.
:
0
:
Agent of Domestic Concern, Aider/abettor, Director of Domestic Concern, Domestic Concern, Employee of Domestic Concern, Officer of Domestic Concern, Stockholder of Domestic Concern
:
Director
:
Foreign
:
Venezuela
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
16,000,000
:
Cash, Entertainment, Meals, Travel
:
Customs Broker or Agent/Consultant, Family Member, Shell entity
:
790,000
:
Venezuela
:
Panama, Switzerland, United States
:
No
:
No