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Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez's former nurse who was later named Venezuela's national treasurer in 2011, has been found guilty of money laundering.

Claudia Díaz, 49, who was the nurse of the late Venezuelan president, Hugo Chávez, before he named her Venezuela's national treasurer in 2011, has been found guilty of money laundering. Claudia Diaz and her husband, Adrían Velasquez, have been found guilty of five of the six counts accusing them of taking at least $4.2 million in bribes, BBC reported.

The couple will be sentenced in Feb 2023. If convicted, they face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each of the criminal counts.

Diaz's predecessor as treasurer, Alejandro Andrade, was a star witness in her trial. Andrade pleaded guilty in 2018 to taking $1bn in bribes and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. However, he was released earlier this year after his sentence was reduced for cooperating with the US Justice Department, Associated Press News reported.

Andrade was one of President Chávez's bodyguards before he was named head of Venezuela's national treasury, a position he held from 2007 to 2010.

During his time as the head of the national treasury, he used strict currency controls introduced by President Chávez to get rich by allowing his co-conspirators to buy US dollars at a cheaper rate from the treasury only for them to re-sell the dollars on the black market at a huge profit.

In exchange for this, he received bribes worth $1bn, including a mansion in Florida, Rolex watches, and showjumping horses.

Andrade testified in court that Díaz continued that illicit scheme when she was put in charge of Venezuela's treasury by President Chávez.

According to prosecutors, Díaz and her husband Adrián Velásquez, who had been President Chávez's chief of security, took at least $4.2m in bribes during her time at the helm of the treasury from May 2011 until 2013.

According to prosecutors, Díaz and her husband had unexplained riches and lived a lavish lifestyle in Spain where they had emigrated after she was removed from the treasury. She was arrested in Spain in 2018 and extradited to the US earlier this year with her husband extradited some months later.

However, Díaz has denied the money laundering charges against her. In 2018, she said in an interview that she and her husband's riches were earned by her husband through businesses he had even before the couple had met.

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