Una de Hormigas y Parchitas

Bet she's wishing she'd done her guisos with the Derwick boys...keep El Nacional off her case...
Bet she’s wishing she’d done her guisos with the Derwick boys…keep El Nacional off her case…

Kudos to El Nacional for writing up some of the detail of (one of) the megabucks scams at Bandes (a.k.a., the Economic and Social Development Bank, a.k.a., the place-where-both-our-current-and-former-Central-Bank-heads cut their teeth.)

I mean, sure, investigative journalism is a heckuvalot easier when the SEC and the FBI do all the investigating, but still. It’s good of them to write it up.

It’s all the work of Bandes’s one-time VP for Finance and Funds Management, María de los Diablos Angeles González, who has since stepped down from her post to spend more time with her jail cell. (She denies all wrongdoing.) The charge is that, working through U.S.-based compinches at the disarmingly-honestly named Direct Access Partners, Mary-Mary-Quite-Contrary pioneered the practice of having Bandes sell DAP bonds at a knock-down price only to immediately re-buy them from DAP at a premium. In 2009-2010, the scam netted DAP a cool $66 million.

Lovely to hear her co-conspirators were so respectful with her:

Cuando se elevó la confianza entre los miembros de la red, a González comenzaron a llamarla “la hormiga”. Otro miembro de la conspiración, un empleado del Bandes que luego cooperó con el Gobierno estadounidense, era llamado “Parchita” por alguna razón no explicada.

A separate investigation is looking into a similarly-structured scam at Banfoandes, also spearheaded by la hormiga – piece’o’work she turned out to be…

El Nacional makes a big thing of the fact that Venezuela has made no attempt to recoup its stolen $66 million. I make a big thing of the fact that an airborne swarm of pigs will blot-out the sun before El Nacional does a similarly detailed story on Derwick.

In fact, an older El Mundo story fills out some extra-fun detail. While La Hormiga was busy scamming Bandes, DAP was busy scamming La Hormiga:

La SEC detectó que con estas prácticas, la DAP ganó 66 millones de dólares sólo entre enero de 2009 y junio de 2010. En las investigaciones se descubrió que González esperaba recibir entre 5 y 9 millones de dólares por las comisiones, pensando que percibía la mitad de las ganancias (33 millones de dólares). Pero en realidad estaba siendo engañada por Clarke y Hurtado, quienes le presentaban balances falsos en una trama donde todo el mundo se engañaba.

No honor among thieves, I tell you…

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