Alex Nain Saab Moran, a Colombian national who reportedly cleaned $350m in a massive illegal bribery scheme that violated the FCPA, much of which he moved through South Florida, and into overseas accounts, has been charged with seven counts of money laundering, and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Saab partner, Alvaro Pulido Vargas was also charged with those crimes.
There were meetings, in furtherance of the money laundering operation, conducted in Miami, Florida. One of the shell companies used by the defendants maintained its principal address in the downtown area.The $350m forfeiture allegations specified that more than $12.5m in cash was seized by the US Government in 2018 & 2019. Saab's close relationship with Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro allowed him to perpetrate a multi-million dollar fraud upon the Venezuelan treasury and economy, using the special Dollar-Bolivar exchange rate, and being paid for invoices where he failed to deliver the goods under sweetheart government contracts.
Significantly, after Saab's accountant and auditor were arrested by Colombian law enforcement, and the fact that he was a wanted man in his native Colombia became public knowledge among bankers and attorneys in the Caribbean, the Government of Antigua & Barbuda refused to strip him of his Antigua diplomatic passport, and denied that he had been engaged in illegal activities in Antigua. Saab allegedly laundered dirty money through a private bank in Antigua that he owned, and also through a local indigenous Antiguan bank known to be facilitating drug money laundering.
It is not known whether either defendant is in custody. Given the amount alleged to have been laundered, and the number of counts, each of the defendants face a possible Life Sentence. We shall cover the shell companies sanctioned by the US Treasury in a subsequent article.
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst