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U.S. v. Tomas Alberto Clarke Bethancourt, Jose Alejandro Hurtado, and Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, a/k/a "Maria de los Angeles Gonzales," a/k/a "Mary"

 
:
Clarke, Tomas Alberto Bethancourt
:
DOJ Criminal
:
May 7, 2013
:
U.S. v. Tomas Alberto Clarke Bethancourt, Jose Alejandro Hurtado, and Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, a/k/a "Maria de los Angeles Gonzales," a/k/a "Mary"
:
U.S. v. Clarke, et al., No. 13-MAG-0683; 13-cr-670 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)
:
U.S. employees of a broker-dealer were charged with paying bribes to a senior government official in Venezuela to obtain business for the broker-dealer. The broker-dealer is unnamed in the criminal complaint, but the parallel SEC complaint identifies the broker-dealer as Direct Access Partners LLC, a New York corporation. The SEC complaint does not contain any FCPA charges, most likely because the alleged scheme involved broker-dealers rather than issuers.

Co-defendant Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez is a Venezuelan foreign official.
:
Financial-Broker Dealer
:
Venezuela
:
2008; 2009; 2010
:
Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, a senior official at Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela, Venezuela's state-owned economic development bank
:
From at least December 2008 to October 2010, the DOJ alleges that Tomas Alberto Clarke Bethancourt and Jose Alejandro Hurtado, two employees of a U.S. broker-dealer (the "Broker-Dealer"), paid bribes to Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, a senior official in Venezuela’s state economic development bank, Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela (“BANDES”). According to the Criminal Complaint, Clarke and Hurtado made at least $3.6 million in kickback payments to Gonzalez in exchange for Gonzalez directing approximately $60 million of BANDES' business to the broker-dealer. Hurtado, who was paid millions of dollars by the broker-dealer (which included finders fees generated from the sale of securities that the broker-dealer bought from and sold to BANDES), allegedly conveyed a portion of those fees to Gonzalez. Additionally, the Complaint alleges that millions of dollars generated from the sale of bonds to and from BANDES were sent from the broker-dealer to a foreign entity controlled by Clarke, with a portion of the funds going to an entity partially controlled by Gonzalez. In total, the Complaint alleges that Gonzalez allegedly received over $5 million (including $3.6 million through Clarke and Hurtado) in kickbacks from the broker-dealer's employees and others associated with the broker-dealer, often through individual and corporate intermediaries.

The Complaint also alleges that Clarke and Hurtado conspired to transfer the money to accounts outside of the U.S. to conceal the payments and route them to Hernandez and that the parties violated the Travel Act.

Clarke, Hurtado, and Gonzalez were arrested in Miami on May 3, 2013.

On August 30, 2013, Clarke, Hurtado, and co-defendant Ernesto Lujan pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA, to violate the Travel Act, and to commit money laundering, as well as substantive counts of these offenses.

Sentencing for Clarke and Lujan is scheduled for Feb. 11, 2014. Hurtado is scheduled for sentencing on March 6, 2014.
:
Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
:
Conspiracy - Money Laundering, Conspiracy - Travel Act, Money Laundering, Travel Act
:
Plea
:
Not stated.
:
0
:
Domestic Concern
:
Senior Finance
:
U.S.
:
United States
:
Other Business Advantage
:
60,000,000
:
Cash, Wire/check
:
Direct, Shell entity
:
3,600,000
:
Switzerland
:
Switzerland, United States
:
No
:
No