Evidence has emerged that Derwick Associates paid bribes to Nervis Villalobos through Banca Privada D'Andorra. A "Consulting and Advisory Services Agreement" between Derwick Associates Corp. and INGESPRE (Nervis Villalobos' vehicle) was entered by the parties on 14 January 2010. The contract's recitals imply that Derwick Associates is a foreign concern "which does have an office in Venezuela and wishes to do further business there".
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report, in August 2014, on prosecutors from the Southern District of New York probing Venezuela's rampant corruption.
UPDATED - Before getting to Fusion GPS associations to Venezuela, let me just say that that country is, by far, Latin America's most corrupt. Its president, Nicolas Maduro, has the unique distinction of being the "individual who has done the most in the world to advance organized criminal activity and corruption" according to the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP).
Further to Bloomberg's reporting that Swiss authorities are collaborating with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's corruption probe into PDVSA and Derwick Associates, I posted an open letter, enclosed below.
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.
"... money is the name of the game here..." said Peter Fritsch during a panel discussion at the Wilson Center on how to (cue in drum roll) disrupt money laundering.
"We are a transparent company and have nothing to hide" said Adam Kaufmann, former New York DA's chief investigator, to the Wall Street Journal in relation to probes that his former office and other Federal Agencies have launched against his client Derwick Associates. A transparent company does not need an army of lawyers and spin doctors to obscure every single operational aspect, but perhaps transparency has a different meaning in Derwick's world. In any case, Derwick has been caught lying repeatedly, and it seems that evidence of another lie has just emerged.
A tweet alerted me yesterday to the latest on the Otto Reich lawsuit against Derwick Associates in New York. District Judge Paul Oetken on 18 of August dismissed "Claims I and II (RICO) and VII (civil conspiracy)." And added in his conclusions: "Defendant D’Agostino’s motion for leave to file a sur-reply (Docket No. 57) is granted. The parties shall confer on the appropriate scope and schedule for jurisdictional discovery and submit a joint letter to the Court with a proposed schedule on or before September 12, 2014."
Finally, a major publication like the Wall Street Journal picked up on the gargantuan corruption racket that Derwick Associates has been involved in in Venezuela. In "Venezuelan Energy Company Investigated in U.S.
Derwick Associates Is Probed by U.S., New York Agencies for Possible Bribery, Banking Violations", the WSJ goes to town on some of the issues readers of this blog have been aware of for quite some time: