Otto Reich's RICO lawsuit against Derwick exposes Victor Vargas

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    Lawyers for Otto Reich in the RICO lawsuit against Derwick Associates (Alejandro Betancourt, Pedro Trebbau and Francisco D'Agostino) claim in latest filing (page 7 below) that D'Agostino (in turn son in law of Bolivarian banker Víctor Vargas of Banco Occidental de Descuento fame) "in exchange for his dismissal from this lawsuit, offered to provide information to Ambassador Reich that would be damning to Betancourt and Trebbau." So, is D'Agostino prepared to betray his chums at Derwick? Further along in the document (page 13 below), the following claim is made:

    In August 2013, a former Venezuelan government official who claimed to be an agent of D'Agostino, and who had flown to the United States on the private jet of D'Agostino's father-in-law, met with Ambassador Reich in Washington, D.C. This former government official told Ambassador Reich that if he would dismiss D'Agostino from the lawsuit, D'Agostino would provide Ambassador Reich with information about Betancourt and Trebbau that would substantiate the allegations set forth in Plaintiff's case.

    This means there's a new actor in this mega-corruption drama: Víctor Vargas. D'Agostino is part of the board of BOD. It follows that his father-in-law, otherwise known as "Chavez's banker", is keen on extricating him from Reich's RICO lawsuit. The claims above shed a new light on this case, namely, not only D'Agostino is willing to give his partners away, but, if what Reich's lawyers claim is true, his father-in-law and emissary also have information "that would substantiate" accusations levelled by Reich against Derwick. A collaborator of infodio has identified this "emissary" as none other than former Chavez Foreign Minister and Venezuelan Ambassador to the U.S., Ignacio Arcaya, who has been an on-again, off-again lobbyist through his firm "Arcaya and Associates."

    No one can predict what sort of damaging information will surface if this thing gets to discovery. Derwick stands accused of having obtained millions of dollars worth of public contracts in Venezuela through bribes. Another lawsuit claims that Derwick allegedly paid $50 million to Diosdado Cabello, head of Venezuelan Congress and no. 2 in Nicolas Maduro's regime. In an amazing turn of events, it would appear that the two Venezuelan bankers (Víctor Vargas and Juan Carlos Escotet) whose fortunes have grown more during chavismo's 14-year administration, are at the centre of Derwick's saga: Escotet's BANESCO as platform through which alleged payments to Cabello were made, and BOD's Vargas offering Betancourt's and Trebbau's heads on a platter to Reich. Escotet and Vargas are, perhaps, the most powerful enemies anyone can have in Venezuela these days. Both appear determined to sever any links with Derwick's Betancourt and Trebbau.

    This is shaping up to be one of the most fascinating cases of corruption ever seen Venezuela. I check PACER, the online court listing, on a regular basis. Keep watching this space for new information.

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