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[UPDATED] How to steal $70 million in a day: Derwick Associates style


There are many things we still don't know about Derwick Associates, but there's one we do know: Alejandro Betancourt (left), Pedro Trebbau and Jeff Canon (right) swindled -at the very least- $70 million USD from the Venezuelan State.

Do readers remember Adam Kaufmann? Former New York's District Attorney's Office über prosecutor cum Derwick Associates lawyer, who went on the record, on the Wall Street Journal no less, saying "We are a transparent company and have nothing to hide"? Well, vindication's a bitch, isn't Adam? As it turns, someone has leaked documents straight from within Derwick Associates' office in Caracas, and what do we find about this "transparent company"? We find a $277 million purchase order from BARIVEN (a PDVSA subsidiary), addressed to Pedro Trebbau (one of Derwick Associates main execs) for a bunch of turbines. We also find a $207 million "Equipment Purchase Agreement" between Alejandro Betancourt (another of Derwick Associates execs) and Jeff Canon from Energy Parts Solution (a division of ProEnergy Services). What else do we find? We find that both documents refer to the same equipment and have the same date: December 30, 2009. Which means, in Kaufmann's own words, it is "transparent" that in concurrent transactions that took place the same day Derwick Associates stole $70 million from BARIVEN. Take it away Adam, all the way to discovery mate!

UPDATE: in my inbox this morning a link to an article (in Spanish) about another $66 million deal between Jeff Canon's Energy Parts Solution and CORPOELEC, where it is laid out, transparently, how Canon's company paid $9.3 million worth of commissions to Omar Petit ($1.3 million) and Khaled ($8 million). Long time readers of my blogs perhaps will remember who that Khaled may be. But the interesting point is the booking of that bribe payment in the pricing summary provided by Canon's Energy Parts Solution (see below). How will Jeff Canon justify / explain to U.S. authorities currently probing his ProEnergy company those payments? Furthermore, if evidence of payment of bribes has already emerged in a different deal, who is to believe that Canon, and/or Betancourt, and/or Trebbau, and/or Francisco D'Agostino, and/or some other associate in their stead, did not incur in exactly the same practice of paying bribes to Venezuelan officials to get contracts without bidding? Derwick claims in its defense in various lawsuits that all contracting done with the Venezuelan State was above board, open, public and legitimate, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support that claim anywhere. Derwick could have well been contracted under special circumstances (emergency decree), which allow officials to grant contracts directly, without much ado. But if that was the case, the question -considering Derwick's absolute lack of a verifiable track record- is: if not through nepotism and bribe payment, how come 12 contracts worth billions were granted to them directly?