Skip to content


Harry Cassin
Publisher and Editor

Andy Spalding
Senior Editor

Jessica Tillipman
Senior Editor

Bill Steinman
Senior Editor

Richard L. Cassin
Editor at Large

Elizabeth K. Spahn
Editor Emeritus

Cody Worthington
Contributing Editor

Julie DiMauro
Contributing Editor

Thomas Fox
Contributing Editor

Marc Alain Bohn
Contributing Editor

Bill Waite
Contributing Editor

Shruti J. Shah
Contributing Editor

Russell A. Stamets
Contributing Editor

Richard Bistrong
Contributing Editor

Eric Carlson
Contributing Editor

Third guilty plea in broker-dealer case

The DOJ said Friday another broker from Direct Access Partners pleaded guilty to bribing foreign officials in Venezuela in exchange for bond trading work.

Jose Alejandro Hurtado pleaded guilty in New York federal court to six counts of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, to violate the Travel Act, and to commit money laundering, as well as substantive counts of the offenses.

On Thursday, two other brokers from Direct Access, Ernesto Lujan and Tomas Alberto Clarke Bethancourt, pleaded guilty to the same charges.

The three defendants admitted paying at least $5 million in bribes to María de los Ángeles González de Hernandez, a vice president at Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela (BANDES).

In return for bribes from 2008 to 2010, she directed bond trading work to Direct Access and approved fraudulent trades that generated more than $60 million in trading commissions.

González was charged in May with Travel Act conspiracy and substantive offenses, and two money laundering-related counts.

(The charges against González are merely accusations, and she is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.)

The DOJ said in a statement Friday a second state-owned bank in Venezuela, Banfoandes, was also involved.

From 2008 through mid-2009, the DOJ said, Lujan, Clarke, and Hurtado bribed an official at Banfoandes who awarded trading business to them.

Sentencing for Lujan, 50, and Clarke, 43, is scheduled for February 11, 2014.

Hurtado, 38, is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2014.

They face up to five years in prison on the four FCPA and Travel Act-related counts and up to 20 years on the two money laundering conspiracy and substantive counts.


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

Share this post


Comments are closed for this article!