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FCPA Scorecard Blog

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act & Anti-Corruption

Contractor Pleads Guilty in Venezuela Oil Probe

Venezuela Petroleos de Venezuela

On March 23, 2016, the DOJ announced that Abraham Jose Shiera-Bastidas pleaded guilty in a federal court in Texas to violating the FCPA and committing wire fraud by paying bribes to ensure that two companies won contracts and received other preferential treatment from Venezuela’s state-owned oil company, Petroleos de Venezuela (Petroleos).  Mr. Shiera-Bastidas was the owner of an oil-field supply company that supplied goods and services to Petroleos de Venezuela.  Mr. Shiera-Bastidas was charged in December 2015 along with the owner of the other involved company, Mr. Roberto Enrique Rincon Fernandez. The charges against Mr. Rincon Fernandez are still pending and he has been detained pending his trial, which is scheduled for April. The judge also unsealed guilty pleas made by four other individuals in connection with the same probe into Petroleos.  One of these individuals was an employee of Mr. Shiera-Bastidas’ company, while the other three individuals were former officials of Petroleos.  Mr. Shiera-Bastidas is due to be sentenced in July and faces a maximum of five years in prison for each count. Previous FCPA Scorecard coverage on the Petroleos investigations can be found here.