U.S. charges Florida men with laundering money for Venezuelan officials

A Florida construction equipment exporter's owners were arrested in Miami on Wednesday on charges they illegally transferred over $100 million from businesses largely in Venezuela to U.S. and foreign bank accounts belonging to Venezuelan government officials and others.


Luis Diaz Jr., 74, and his son, Luis Javier Diaz, 49, were charged in a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court with conspiring to commit money laundering and operate an unlicensed money transmitting business.


The case came amid U.S. Justice Department investigations that have focused on individuals tied to the Venezuelan government and their suspected roles in various bribery and drug-trafficking schemes.


According to the complaint, the family's company, beginning in 2010, facilitated hundreds of transmissions of funds into the U.S. on behalf of an unnamed large consortium of Venezuelan construction companies.


Those Venezuelan companies transferred at least $100 million to the family's company, which forwarded funds to bank accounts around the world on behalf of the Venezuelan consortium's employees and associates, the complaint said.


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