Luxury NYC apartments tied to $2.4B Venezuelan ‘boligarchs’ currency scam

As Venezuela spirals deeper into crisis, US prosecutors have tied seven luxury Manhattan apartments to a $2.4 billion currency-exchange scam involving the South American country’s “boligarchs” and its embattled socialist regime.

The condos — worth $40 million-plus, and stretching from Lincoln Square to Sutton Place — are part of a sprawling portfolio of US property and other holdings that court papers say is “subject to forfeiture.”

That designation comes courtesy of the bribery and money-laundering allegations against one of the accused businessmen, Venezuelan TV mogul Raul Gorrin, who has close ties to President Nicolas Maduro.

The properties include a 4,557-square-foot pad on the 47th floor of the Baccarat Hotel and Residences, across from the Museum of Modern Art, that Gorrin bought through a holding company for $18.8 million in cash.

Another apartment — a full-floor home at 330 E. 57th St. — was purchased for $2.4 million in cash by a holding company controlled by Gorrin’s brother-in-law.

Gorrin, who owns the Globovision news network, is currently on the run from an 11-count indictment unsealed last year in Miami that accuses him of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by helping to launder more than $1 billion in payoffs to crooked Venezuelan officials starting in 2008.

Last month, he was also among seven Venezuelan government insiders and 23 companies slapped with sanctions for allegedly perpetrating what US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called an “illicit scheme that the Venezuelan regime had long used to steal from its people.”

The move came just weeks before opposition leader Juan Guaidó invoked a provision of Venezuela’s constitution to declare himself president, amid dire economic conditions and allegations that Maduro’s May 2018 re-election was fixed.

Maduro, the country’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2012, was vice president under Hugo Chavez before taking over when the Venezuelan strongman died in 2013.

Under Chavez arose the boligarchs, a privileged class akin to Russia’s oligarchs and so named because they prospered under his so-called Bolivarian revolution.

Gorrin has been accused of using his position as head of Globovision to try to squelch anti-Maduro sentiment.

Gorrin, who owns the Globovision news network, is currently on the run from an 11-count indictment unsealed last year in Miami that accuses him of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by helping to launder more than $1 billion in payoffs to crooked Venezuelan officials starting in 2008.

Last month, he was also among seven Venezuelan government insiders and 23 companies slapped with sanctions for allegedly perpetrating what US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called an “illicit scheme that the Venezuelan regime had long used to steal from its people.”

The move came just weeks before opposition leader Juan Guaidó invoked a provision of Venezuela’s constitution to declare himself president, amid dire economic conditions and allegations that Maduro’s May 2018 re-election was fixed.

Maduro, the country’s foreign minister from 2006 to 2012, was vice president under Hugo Chavez before taking over when the Venezuelan strongman died in 2013.

Under Chavez arose the boligarchs, a privileged class akin to Russia’s oligarchs and so named because they prospered under his so-called Bolivarian revolution.

Gorrin has been accused of using his position as head of Globovision to try to squelch anti-Maduro sentiment.

Source: NYPost

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