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Former Swiss banker in Venezuela money laundering gang jailed ten years

A former executive at Julius Baer was sentenced to ten years in prison Monday for his role in a billion-dollar scheme to launder money embezzled from the Venezuela state oil company.

Matthias Krull, 44, a German national and resident of Panama, was sentenced to 120 months in prison, the DOJ said

Krull, pictured above, was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and forfeit $600,000. 

He had been vice chairman of Julius Baer Panama.

In August, Krull pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder embezzled money from Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. or PDVSA, Venzuela’s state-owned oil company. 

He was arrested in Miami in July. 

The conspiracy began in December 2014. By May 2015, about $1.2 billion had been embezzled from  PDVSA.

Krull joined the conspiracy in 2016 when a co-conspirator asked him to help launder the money. He used real estate deals in Miami and phony investments.

Prosecutors said the scam involved “money managers, brokerage firms, banks and real estate investment firms in the United States and elsewhere.”

They operated as “a network of professional money launderers.”

The DOJ has charged at least seventeen other defendants in FCPA, fraud, and money laundering cases linked to PDVSA. Twelve have pleaded guilty.


Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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  1. Poor countries being raped and pillaged by a selfish few with the help of the powerful. how many Venezuelan children have died of malnutrition and lack of medicine that could have been saved with this $?

    money laundering US$1.2B had to be known at the highest levels of this banking institution. yet only a 44 year old mid level banker goes to jail?

    We need to go after the top folks at these big financial institutions when the amount of theft is so large and the consequences in human lives is so deadly.

  2. Sould the banking sector fraudalent activities be added on the Transparent International Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI)?

    Mario Hakulinen
    World citizen
    Fuzhou, Fujian, South-China

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