Venezuela: Feds step up efforts to target Venezuelans accused of money laundering in Miami

Federal authorities are stepping up their efforts to seize millions of dollars deposited in Miami bank accounts that they say were used to pay kickbacks to Venezuelan government officials for inflated contracts with the national oil company, PDVSA.

The latest target: Natalino D’Amato. The contractor is accused of selling $160 million worth of equipment to subsidiaries of the Venezuelan oil monopoly, receiving the payments in his account at Mercantil Bank in Miami and then paying bribes to government officials to secure the PDVSA deals, according to an indictment. Of that total, U.S. authorities have moved to take $45 million that D’Amato is holding in seven personal and corporate accounts at Wells Fargo, Bank of America and an investment company.

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