The US Department of Justice has accused several businessmen with links to the Venezuelan opposition leader and fugitive Leopoldo López of corruption. César Omaña and Julio Herrera Velutini are each facing corruption charges in the US.
Julio Herrera Velutini is a banker and a Venezuelan and Italian passport holder. He has been formally accused of bribery in a case that also involves former Governor of Puerto Rico Wanda Vázquez Garced.
Herrera Velutini, the former governor of Puerto Rico, as well as a former FBI agent, Mark Rossini, and two other men, have been charged conspiracy, bribing federal officials, and fraud.
According to US authorities, the Venezuelan-Italian banker Velutini and Rossini had promised to fund the electoral campaign of Vázquez Garced in 2020 in exchange for her firing the then head of the Office of the Commission of Financial Institutions (OCIF).
This request was made due to the fact that the office was investigating Herrera Velutini’s bank in 2019. It would appear that the former governor accepted the bribe and removed the head of the OCIF, replacing them with a former consultant of Herrera Velutini’s bank.
The US Department of Justice has claimed that Vázques Garced received more than $300,000 in exchange, which she used for her campaign. As for the César Omaña case, the news broke after he was detained this past weekend for eight hours in the Miami airport, on the grounds that he had been involved in the illicit management of funds from the fertilizer producer Monómeros.
Their links to Leopoldo López
Different sources reviewed by the platform Infodio have revealed the links between Herrera Velutini and Leopoldo López, which were established via Gustavo Guaidó, the brother of former Deputy Juan Guaidó.
Similarly, these sources also implicate Valentina Tintori, the sister of opposition figure Lilian Tintori, López’s wife, in the corruption scheme.
Meanwhile, César Omaña has been singled out as one of the financiers of the failed 2019 coup in Venezuela, which sought to depose President Nicolás Maduro.
Apparently, when Omaña was detained he was forced to show the contents of his mobile phone, which revealed conversations that link López to the management of Monómeros’ resources.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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