St. Louis prosecutors seize assets in Venezuela money scheme

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Federal prosecutors in St. Louis have seized a plane, two multi-million dollar yachts and more than $1.8 million from two men connected to allegations of money laundering in Venezuela.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Hjalmar Gibelli-Gomez and Fabrizio Della Polla De-Simone have consented to the seizure and admitted to the money laundering. A federal court filing says the men bought the assets with profits from an illegal scheme to swap Venezuelan currency for U.S. dollars on the black market.

The filing states the Venezuelan government enacted currency controls to prevent capital flight by people seeking to avoid economic, political and social instability. Former federal prosecutor Lilly Ann Sanchez says forfeiture cases have become common since the Venezuelan financial crisis.

Court records don’t list attorneys for the men.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch