Former Houston Executive Pleads Guilty in PDVSA Bribery Case

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A former manager of a Houston-based logistics and freight company has pleaded guilty to a foreign bribery charge related to a scheme to secure contracts from Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., Venezuela’s state-owned oil company.

Federal officials announced that Juan Carlos Castillo Rincon of Conroe pleaded guilty in Houston federal court to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 21.

The plea is part of a broader, ongoing investigation by the U.S. government into bribery at PDVSA that has so far brought charges against 18 individuals, 14 of whom have pleaded guilty.

Castillo Rincon was arrested in Miami in April. He admitted to conspiring with others to bribe a PDVSA official who in turn assisted the logistics company in obtaining favorable contracts and provided inside information regarding the bidding process. The scheme began around 2011 and continued through 2013.

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