Reporter Neil Hartnell has obtained documents showing that American financial authorities are set to seize billions of dollars belonging to Deltec Bank and Ansbacher Bank. $1.2 billion USD of bribe money allegedly connected to Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro was identified at the Tether-tied bank during an investigation.
Bahamian Banks Launder Billions for Venezuelan Bribe Takers
Former Petroleas de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) financial chief executive Abraham Edgardo Ortega has entered into a plea bargain with the U.S. government. He disclosed information that proves his role in a massive bribery structure lead by Maduro regime officials, according to Tribune.
Ortega used Bahamian bank accounts to launder around $1.2 billion for the government. This money was obtained during a series of asset and money thefts from the state-run oil company, PDVSA.
Ortega allegedly earned around $12 million for himself during the process for his “valuable input.” Now, he has agreed to transfer all the corrupt money from both Deltec and Ansbacher accounts to U.S. officials.
Plea Bargain Reveals Names and Numbers
According to Ortega, he attended a meeting with a confidential informant, who was working for the U.S. government, and Gustavo Adolfo Hernandez Frieri, a principal from a Miami-based brokerage firm. During the conversations, Frieri offered his own fake “Global Securities Trade Finance” Fund (GSTF), based on the Cayman Islands, to launder $5 million worth of bribe money acquired by Maduro officials from Russian and French business lobbyists.
Per the plea bargain agreement:
“On February 24, 2017, the CS instructed Deltec Bank & Trust in Nassau, The Bahamas, where a portion of Ortega’s illicit funds were then held, to subscribe to the [GSTF] fund.”
Once acquired, the dirty five million dollars were transferred to another unnamed financial firm with a GSTF subscription. This made the funds look legit and available to be spent by Frieri and Ortega.
“On or about February 28, 2017, at the direction of Ortega and Hernandez Fieri, approximately $5m was transferred from an account/portfolio number at Deltec Bank & Trust” to a US financial institution in New Jersey, which held an account for GSTF, the fake fund.”
Deltec Bank Prone to Risky Behavior
Bahamian banks already face problems, with the FATF recently releasing a list of 11 nations who poorly follow KYC/AML procedures. Deltec is also now involved with Tether as the new holder of its infamous fiat assets.
According to an official statement from Tether, Deltec Bank & Trust has concluded its investigations into all of Tether’s prior operations at the now bankrupt Noble Bank International, finding no irregularities.
Before commencing a relationship with Deltec, Tether had experienced significant reputational harm, partially solved by the recent Deltec bank statement issued on November 1st, 2018.
However, the bank letter fails to offer any actual responsibility for its claims, using the tactic of not naming or signing the individual that issued the statement.
Despite the price of USDT dropping from $1 to 93 cents over the past few days, it has since returned to 99 cents, per CoinBillboard. Many users have fled USDT into more transparent currencies, resulting in a recent substantial burn of 500 million USDT coins by the Tether Treasury, as Tether’s market cap dwindled.
Will Tether survive as a long term asset with its current transparency level and history? Let us know your thoughts below.
Images by Jeff Fawkes, WorldCoinIndex, Pixabay