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BUSINESS
May 23, 2009 | TIMES WIRE SERVICES
Venezuela reached a deal to pay Spain-based Banco Santander $1.05 billion for the nationalization of its local unit, ending months of negotiations and turning the government into the No. 1 player in Venezuela's financial sector. Vice President Ramon Carrizalez said the takeover of Banco de Venezuela would enable the government to assert greater control over the economy as it moves toward a socialist model.
BUSINESS
August 1, 2008 | Chris Kraul, Times Staff Writer
Advancing his policy of taking over major foreign companies, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that he would nationalize Spanish-owned Banco Venezuela, the country's third-largest financial institution. Chavez said during an afternoon telecast that he was seizing the bank because its owner, Banco Santander, was planning to sell it anyway. The Spanish concern, which acquired the bank in 1996, had not issued a formal comment by Thursday evening.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1998 | DAVID ROSENZWEIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Five Venezuelan nationals, including two bankers, laundered millions of dollars belonging to Latin American drug cartels, according to a federal indictment unsealed in Los Angeles on Wednesday in connection with Operation Casablanca, the largest drug money laundering case in U.S. history. The undercover investigation by U.S. Customs agents resulted in indictments earlier this week against more than 100 defendants, including three large Mexican banks and 26 Mexican bankers.
WORLD
March 5, 2009 | Mery Mogollon and Chris Kraul
Amid deepening shortages of food and household supplies, President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered the seizure of a Venezuelan unit of U.S. agriculture giant Cargill, the latest in a series of takeovers of foreign-owned companies. In a speech during a ministers' council meeting broadcast over state-run television, Chavez also threatened to seize control of privately owned Polar, the country's largest food conglomerate and brewer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2001 | DAVID ROSENZWEIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A member of a politically prominent Venezuelan family was sentenced to one year's probation Friday for illegally structuring a $20,000 cash transaction to avoid bank-reporting requirements. Esperanza DeSaad, 57, former manager of the Miami office of Banco Industrial de Venezuela, was also fined $50,000 after entering a guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Christina A. Snyder in Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 21, 1999 | DAVID ROSENZWEIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Los Angeles federal jury convicted three Venezuelans--a banker, a lawyer and a businessman--on Monday after a trial climaxing the biggest narcotics money laundering case in U.S. history. The five-week trial was an outgrowth of Operation Casablanca, a lengthy undercover probe that targeted Mexican and Venezuelan banks along with money launderers for the Juarez and Cali drug cartels.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 18, 1999 | DAVID ROSENZWEIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The final trial growing out of Operation Casablanca, the biggest drug money laundering probe in U.S. history, got underway in earnest Wednesday with a skirmish over the government's chief undercover informant. From the outset, federal prosecutors sought to shore up the credibility of controversial informant Fred Mendoza, a former money launderer and drug trafficker from Colombia.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2000 | DAVID ROSENZWEIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a rare move, a federal trial judge has nullified a jury's guilty verdict and acquitted a Venezuelan banker convicted last year of laundering $4 million in narcotics proceeds. U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman said in a 25-page opinion that the Los Angeles federal jury had no rational grounds for convicting Esperanza de Saad, who ran the Miami branch of government-owned Banco Industrial de Venezuela.
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