MEDELLIN (Colombia): Hugo Chávez’s former nurse has been charged with money laundering in a Miami federal court, accused of taking bribes from a billionaire media mogul to green light lucrative currency transactions when she served as Venezuela’s national treasurer.
Claudia Díaz and her husband, Adrían Velasquez, were accused of taking at least USD 4.2 million in furtherance of the bribery scheme, according to the charges presented Friday. The payments came from companies and bank accounts located in Switzerland to the couple’s accounts in Miami.
Behind the payments, according to prosecutors, was businessman Raúl Gorrín, owner of the country’s last major private TV network, Globovisión.
Gorrin is on the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s most-wanted list after being charged for his alleged role in a USD 2.4 billion money laundering conspiracy in 2017.
His TV network is under US sanctions for its alleged role propping up the socialist government of Chávez’s successor, Nicolás Maduro.
Díaz, 46, was a former petty officer in Venezuela’s navy who took care of an ailing Chávez before the Venezuelan leader died of cancer in 2013.
In 2011, Chávez named her Venezuela’s national treasurer. She was replaced when Maduro was elected in 2013.