Two men were arrested last week for alleged links to a $1 billion bribery scheme aimed at winning contracts with Venezuela’s state-owned PDVSA.

According to the New York Times, Roberto Rincón and Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas were arrested Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as wire fraud and money laundering charges.

Rincón, the 55 year old president of Tradequip Services & Marine, was arrested in Houston while Shier, 52, was arrested in Miami where he resides.

Rincón has personal ties to retired Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal, who was arrested last year in Aruba on drug trafficking charges but who has not been extradited.

Both Rincón and Shier are currently being held without bail, Reuters said.

Court documents seen by Bloomberg allege that at least $750 million has been traced back to Rincón dating back to a three-year period between 2010 and 2013.

He also allegedly paid an unnamed official a $2.5 million bribe as part of the scheme, one of five officials the pair are accused of bribing with payments and gifts, the Times said.

Rincón has entered a plea of not guilty and Shiera has not yet entered his plea, the Times added.

The DOJ  has not commented on whether it is also investigating Tradequip, a Houston-based services firm.

U.S. officials have placed a $1 billion price tag on the corruption scheme, according to court documents seen by Retuers.


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