Ex-Venezuelan energy official pleads guilty in graft case

July 16, 2018 - 5:11 pm

HOUSTON (AP) — A former official at a state-run electric company in Caracas, Venezuela, has pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy relating to an alleged multibillion-dollar graft scheme in the Venezuelan oil industry.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Houston announced that Luis Carlos de Leon-Perez pleaded guilty Monday in Houston for his role in the scheme to bribe officials of Venezuela's state-owned-and-controlled oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela. The 42-year-old holder of dual U.S.-Venezuelan citizenship also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He's scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 24.

De Leon admitted seeking bribes from owners of energy companies in the United States and elsewhere and directing some of the bribes to officials at Petroleos de Venezuela.

He's the fourth to reach a plea deal in the case.

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