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CEO and Managing Partner of Wall Street Broker-Dealer Charged with Massive International Bribery Scheme

The chief executive officer and a managing partner of a New York-based U.S. broker-dealer were arrested today on felony charges arising from a conspiracy to pay bribes to a senior official in Venezuela's state economic development bank. Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O'Neil of the Justice Department's Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York and Assistant Director in Charge George Venizelos of the New York Office of the FBI made the announcement. According to the indictment unsealed today, Benito Chinea and Joseph DeMeneses, who were the Chief Executive Officer and a managing partner, respectively, of a New York-based broker-dealer (Broker-Dealer), are accused of conspiring with others to pay and launder bribes to Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez de Hernandez, a senior official in Venezuela's state-owned economic development bank, Banco de Desarollo Económico y Social de Venezuela (BANDES), in exchange for her directing BANDES's financial trading business to the Broker-Dealer. DeMeneses was also charged with conspiring to obstruct an examination of the Broker-Dealer by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to conceal the true facts of the Broker-Dealer's relationship with BANDES. Chinea, 47, was arrested today in Manalapan, N.J., where he resides, and DeMeneses, 44, was arrested today in Fairfield, Conn., where he resides. In a separate action, the SEC announced civil charges against Chinea, DeMeneses and others involved in the bribery scheme. "These senior Wall Street executives are accused of paying six-figure bribes to an official in Venezuela to secure foreign business for their firm," said Acting Assistant Attorney General O'Neil. "Today's charges show once again that we will aggressively pursue individual executives, all the

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