The Treasury Department is reportedly negotiating with allies of Nicolás Maduro who have already been sanctioned, allowing them to keep their assets in the United States; such is the case of Venezuelan businessman Raúl Gorrín who managed to recover his luxury apartment in New York in exchange for paying his debt.
In 2020, the Treasury sanctioned Raúl Antonio Gorrín Belisario, owner of the Globovisión television network, for having bribed the Venezuelan National Treasury Office to carry out illicit foreign exchange operations in Venezuela.
Negotiation with the Treasury
Gorrín faces nine counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and one count of conspiracy for laundering money. He is considered a fugitive by the American Justice and since November 2019 he is part of the most wanted list for corruption; however, now he managed to recover his apartment in NY.
Gorrín received a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to pay the $650,000 he owes to the board of directors of the building where he has a luxury apartment in New York City.
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The businessman told the Reuters news agency that he had received authorization from the U.S. Treasury Department to make the payment and thus avoided a public auction of the property, which means that despite being sanctioned and being an accomplice of Nicolás Maduro’s regime, he can still keep his property.
A lawyer for Gorrín stated in court documents that sanctions had prevented him from making payments on the condominium and that OFAC had not granted previous requests for a license authorizing him to pay. The businessman will now spend the debt and keep the property.
The board won a court order in August 2020 to collect $184,876 in back payments from RIM Group Properties of New York II Corp, the company by which Gorrín owns the apartment.
The businessman purchased the apartment in November 2017 at a price of $18.8 million. It is located in Manhattan on the 47th floor of the Baccarat Hotel & Residences and overlooks the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) and the Empire State Building.