SEC finds scheme to rob Venezuelan people, misuses term “massive”

The SEC charged bond traders with running a bunch of fake trades to get commissions and rob the Venezuelan people. The take was, as usual, shared with the revolutionary people’s power executives charged with protecting the pueblo, and as usual, the officials in charge will be protected. (Thanks to commenter Jau for pointing this out.)

Anyway it’s an interesting read. It starts:

Washington, D.C., May 6, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged four individuals with ties to a New York City brokerage firm in a scheme involving millions of dollars in illicit bribes paid to a high-ranking Venezuelan finance official to secure the bond trading business of a state-owned Venezuelan bank.

According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, the global markets group at broker-dealer Direct Access Partners (DAP) executed fixed income trades for customers in foreign sovereign debt. DAP Global generated more than $66 million in revenue for DAP from transaction fees – in the form of markups and markdowns – on riskless principal trade executions in Venezuelan sovereign or state-sponsored bonds for Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela (BANDES). A portion of this revenue was illicitly paid to BANDES Vice President of Finance, María de los Ángeles González de Hernandez, who authorized the fraudulent trades.

The annoying thing about the situation is that the SEC calls this a “massive kickback scheme.” They are talking about a country where quite likely billions of dollars a year are taken in kickback schemes. Sadly, $60 million is a drop in the Venezuelan bucket.

And since nobody else seems to have mentioned it in English, yes, that’s the same BANDES that employed Alejandro Andrade as president during this same period. (H/T Corina.) Unreliable, unsourced reports said Andrade is “behind” the recent purchase of Globovisión, Venezuela’s most politically conservative television station, but I don’t have any evidence that this is so.

20 thoughts on “SEC finds scheme to rob Venezuelan people, misuses term “massive”

  1. Dr. Faustus

    A question….

    Are the two ‘Bethancourts’ mentioned in the SEC indictment in any way related to Emcee ‘Betancourt, the newly appointed president of the Central Bank? There is a Bandes connection as well.

  2. John Hayes

    If the SEC and FBI run out along the Rat Lines, e.g. get the details of Maria de Los Angeles payables, and perhaps the two brokers, they’ll probably find this was not only an escapade in personal corrupt profiteering practices- conversion of government funds to personal use, but they can also find an attempt to place and launder IGG for nefarious purposes here in the U.S. and elsewhere. The personal corruption give it the appearance of being only that, plausible deniability. All they have to do is find out who was getting payments, and allegedly for what. Like Eva Golinger receives for alleged “journalism.”

  3. John Hayes

    And speaking of Eva golinger, has anybody not read and gotten thedrift of her Blog Posts regarding Tim Tracy? And her broadcast rants about Mr. Tracy being an intel officer of the US? Well, we must consider the source, who is basically the Princess of Lies, Fabfications, Innuendos, Half-Truths, and Glittering Generalities, so I’m putitng my money on NOT TRUE…but correct or not, Eva seems to berunning afoul of The Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982 (Pub.L. 97–200, 50 U.S.C. §§ 421–426).Anybody in country care to drop a dime to the FBI on this? I mean, our tax dollars pay them,and there is a legitimate beef here, because, and let’s be calm about this, right or wrong, her cheerleading seems to be based on knowledge from inside the Maburro Junta, it placing Tracy in extreme peril ( imagine being in one of Linda Blair’s carcels with any number of PSUV allied Pranes hot to get you because you have been fingered asa spy by the Junta) AND IF there are any real operatives these cretins could get their hands on, now that Eva has helped stir up a witch hunt, in this parlous political situation, they will be in imminent danger and all of their contacts. Maybe AB can continue to serenade Evita?

    1. The Cat

      John, why don´t YOU drop the dime on her? I mean, it’s not too difficult to follow her “droppings”. Why don’t you get in touch with Ulf Erlingsson ( I’m sure that he’d be more than happy to provide you with info regarding her (lying) ass. Ask about the apartment she has in NY, for example…Sorry, Setty, she’s just been asking for it. Love ya, mean it…

  4. John Hayes

    And since Evita seems to be acting on orders and perhaps, information from inside Maburro’s Junta, perhaps from Ramiro Valdes himself, has there ever been more reason for her to register as a PAID agent of a Hostile foreign Power? AB has the screenshots form the Assemblea Nacional’s Gacette, so do I…and has shepaid taxes onthat $3.5 million correctly. To paraphrase Maburro, ” a little bird says she declared it to IRS as expat income!”

  5. John Hayes

    If the Commissioner of IRS agrees in writing, if La Evita is found to be deficient paying her fair share on the $3.5 mil (and other loot she has gotten form this Junta), the person who notified IRS can receive a 10% bounty!

  6. sapitosetty Post author

    Cat, John – I normally don’t tolerate talk like this in my house, but Eva Golinger is a very special case. She is a lawyer and therefore a sworn officer of the US legal system. She is governed by an ethical code that says, “a lawyer should further the public’s understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority” and “A lawyer should use the law’s procedures only for legitimate purposes and not to harass or intimidate others.”

    And yet she does this.

    Lawyer Eva Gollinger and the host of the program La Hojilla, Mario Silva, filed an alert before the Standing Committtee of Science, Technology and Mass Communications of the parliament, that a group of Venezuelan journalists was being used by the government of the United States to impose their agenda and de-stabilize the government of Hugo Chávez. They presented a list of 33 reporters who went to education
    and culture exchange programs sponsored by the Department of State of the U.S. The Committee summoned the journalists to report about those activities on August 9, 2007. However, the appearance remained in suspense. On August 13, some of the journalists mentioned in the list demanded that the National Assembly give them the right to answer the accusations and they criticized the use of that list with their names by officialist media.

    Such McCarthyist tactics aren’t even effective for rooting out spies. All they do is persecute reporters and reduce the free flow of information, while allowing those in power (in this case, Chavistas) to ignore legitimate news reporting that could have informed them about real problems brewing in their movement and in their country. It’s no coincidence that the rise of such tactics coincided with Chávez’s first electoral defeat.

    Not that the eventual self-destruction of Chavismo hurts Golinger. Like all of us foreigners who visited the revolution and made money writing about it, Golinger has always had a Plan B. But she was unusual. Most of us respected the local government and the will of the people, not criticizing the government directly but always doing our job as journalists. She instead took on the role of propaganda and even persecutor of reporters, in an overt effort to disrespect the will of many Venezuelans (those who aren’t government supporters). Her acts help to keep the local population subjected to the excesses of her ideological fantasy even while she enjoys the seguridad juridica and physical safety of a passport stamped “USA.” Such hypocrisy really pisses me off.

    1. The Cat

      Dear SB, thanks for your response. La Golinger IS a special (nut) case, and I’m glad that you’ve recognized what she’s like. Yes, she IS a hypocrite. And, yes, she really pisses ME off!
      Again, love ya, mean it.

    2. sapitosetty Post author

      Adding: I disagree with the idea of reporting her to US authorities. I don’t like the idea of persecuting people for their beliefs and statements, even if they are abhorrent, as long as they haven’t contributed to genocide or any such thing. And while Golinger is a pain in the ass, she’s not a Rwandan radio announcer calling for people to be chopped up. I think getting her in trouble with the US law would only guarantee her continued celebrity in the more dreamy left-wing circles. I would like to see her disbarred for her demonstrated lack of faith in due process, but I could say the same about a lot of lawyers. In the end, the best thing isn’t to call daddy and get someone spanked, but to help the person see other sides of a situation. Maybe if she has really left Venezuela, at some point she will get back the independent perspective that took her there in the first place.

      1. Kepler

        I disagree with you here, Setty. If anyone breaks the law and does so not for a penny or two, not like in Les Miserables, to have a loaf of bread for the children but for a lot of money, that person needs to be reported to the corresponding authorities.

        It doesn’t matter whether that person is Eva Golinger or Rosales or whoever. Of course, she is more than special. And she won’t ever see the light. Almost none of her kind ever does.

        I don’t care about her celebrity in dreamy circles. They do not matter, Venezuela won’t change for the better because of what they think.

        1. sapitosetty Post author

          That’s a fair point. Of course the foreign agent self-reporting law is pretty silly to start with. It’s not about preventing murder, it’s about keeping foreign agents from getting too involved in domestic politics. I don’t think there’s much case to be made that Eva Golinger is a threat to the USA. If the Venezuelans want to prosecute her, that’s their deal. But this isn’t like either the financial criminals or the real bastard war criminals who hang out in the USA. I can’t see any prosecutor taking the resources to go after her, and I’m not sure I’d support them if they did. I’m a civil libertarian and while I don’t like what she did in Venezuela, I don’t see it as a criminal matter either.

  7. Rene

    The big story here will be if María de los Angeles rats out Andrade, then we’ll get into the massive #s. He’ll probably not be returning to Wellington any time soon.

    1. Cort Greene

      So which Maria de Los Angeles are we speaking of since I know of 4 of them in Venezuela?

      I would like to thank Setty for the info but I want to see more of it in print with hard facts like some posted already not just the name calling by some.

      As a Marxist I may even share some of your concerns for the players because I for one have made many criticisms of the corruption and the fake revolutionaries within the bureaucracy, as has the rank and file militants and grassroots and i think more are realizing it everyday. Revolution within the revolution!
      Rojo Rojito

      1. sapitosetty Post author

        Maria de los Angeles is her first name. If you want more hard facts just download the SEC filings, the links are there.

        You are a nice dreamer, Cort. You seem to think that what’s happening in Venezuela is fundamentally a revolution, with some oversights allowing corruption to take place. I come from the other direction. I see it as fundamentally a group of greedy people taking their turn at the PDVSA beer funnel and tolerating a bit of socialist/anarchist experimentation while they spend most of their time sucking up money.

        1. Cort Greene

          Then there are a lot of dreamers in Venezuela and the world, I am against the greedy ones whether they are so called socialists who give lip service while they pimp off the masses or just the run of the mill capitalists and their follow travelers which many are. How about you, eh!

        2. sapitosetty Post author

          The reason I spend so much time on Venezuelan corruption is exactly that — I find it especially insufferable that people rob in the name of “el pueblo.”

  8. Cort Greene

    And as for the SEC, this so called watch dog who has been licking at the bowl themselves, has let many big fish get away in the States for many, many, decades from the get go and I trust them about as much as the Venezuelan cosmetics.

  9. Hans

    [OT] but maybe interesting to look into: March 21, 2013
    Rusoro Mining Ltd. Submits US$ 3.03 Billion Arbitration Claim Against Venezuela, did Crystallex also go to court? This
    Goldmine is going to cost Venezuela a lot of money…

    1. sapitosetty Post author

      Hi Hans, thanks, I hadn’t seen the $ amount from Rusoro. Interesting. Crystallex did file for arbitration. Vannessa Ventures/IG.v already lost its case. Onward!

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