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Jesús Villanueva — The PDVSA Auditor who Wanted to Hide his Wealth

Until 2010, he was the auditor general of PDVSA. A year before retirement, he wanted to have a power of attorney to manage a company registered in Panama, through an operation that involved Switzerland and Luxembourg, all under a scheme designed by Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm specialized in creating international structures to cover the wealth of those who can pay for their services.

3/29/2016 12:00:00 AM

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They practically cried their eyes out suggesting not taking him as a client. "Did you read thoroughly the links below? He is on the board of directors of Pedevesa (PDVSA) with the brother of President Hugo Chávez, Asdrúbal (...) The possibility of a scandal is too high (...) Also, I do not agree at all with what they are doing to the Venezuelan people with this company," said in May 2009 an alarmed Ramón Fonseca, founding partner of Mossack Fonseca, a company created in Panama in 1975 to advise investors in the formation of arrangements of international companies to evade taxes in their countries of origin or launder money.

In reality, Asdrúbal Chávez is a cousin of the deceased Venezuelan head of state, but that is one small detail. The important thing is that one year and two months later, in July 2010, Jesús Manuel Villanueva Rojas, then Auditor General of Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), did obtain the power of attorney to manage a Panamanian firm that would be used in the mobilization of funds deposited in a Swiss bank account. That goal was achieved thanks to a figurehead.