A former Swiss bank manager pleaded guilty in a US court on Wednesday for his role in a $1.2 billion money laundering scheme involving Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA, the Justice Department announced.
Matthias Krull, 44, a German national and Panamanian resident, was one of a ring of conspirators and he admitted the scam began in late 2014 with “a currency exchange scheme that was designed to embezzle around $600 million from PDVSA,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
PDVSA was the crown jewel of Venezuela’s imploding economy and remains virtually the only source of hard currency for the embattled government. But it also has made the company a target of theft and graft.
The Justice Department said the stolen fund were “obtained through bribery and fraud.”