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Venezuela man gets 3 years for money-laundering scheme in US

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Venezuelan businessman has been sentenced to three years in U.S. federal prison for his role in a billion-dollar money-laundering scheme.

Court records show that 50-year-old Gabriel Arturo Jimenez Aray was sentenced Thursday in West Palm Beach, Florida, federal court. He pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

U.S. prosecutors say Jimenez conspired with Venezuelan media tycoon Raul Gorrin Belisario and others to acquire Banco Peravia in the Dominican Republic. They allegedly used the bank to bribe Venezuelan government officials in exchange for contracts to conduct currency exchange schemes and to launder the money from those schemes.

Jimenez’s sentencing comes days after Alejandro Andrade Cedeno, a former treasurer of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, was sentenced to ten years for the same case.

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