The Wall Street Journal says US authorities are pursuing a preliminary investigation of Derwick Associates and Proenergy Services for possible banking and overseas corruption violations. No charges have been brought and Derwick denies everything.
Derwick is an exceptionally lucky electricity industry middleman in Venezuela and Proenergy Services is the ultimate recipient of its contracts. Derwick has in the past claimed that I am part of a defamation campaign against it. I’m not. The WSJ story starts thus. I am quoting at greater length than usual, sorry:
NEW YORK—Federal and New York City prosecutors have opened preliminary investigations into a Venezuelan company that became one of that country’s leading builders of power plants during the administration of President Hugo Chávez, as well as into a Missouri-based company which played a key role in its success, people familiar with the matter say.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the Manhattan District Attorneys’ office are probing Derwick Associates, a Venezuelan company that was awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts in little more than a year to build power plants in Venezuela shortly after the country’s power grid began to sputter in 2009, the people familiar with the matter said.
ProEnergy Services, a Sedalia, Mo.-based engineering, procurement and construction company which sold dozens of turbines to Derwick and helped build the plants, is also under investigation, these people say.
The probes are in their initial phases, these people say, and it is possible that both investigations could be closed without criminal charges being brought. Continue reading