Sunday, December 4, 2022


NAMAN WAKIL is an ethnic Syrian holding a Venezuelan passport; he is a Lawful Permanent Resident who lives in Miami's pricey Coconut Grove district, just south of the downtown business and residential sector. He is also, according to the Indictment, one of Venezuela's major money launderers and FCPA violators. So why, upon his arrest, was he allowed to bond out of Pretrial Detention for the astronomical sum of $50m?

Wakil, who was arrested last year at his home in the Grove, is charged with:

(1) Money Laundering Conspiracy.

(2) Conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

(3) Engaging in Transactions involving Criminally-derived Property.

He is accused of paying out $12m in bribes, to government officials at PdVSA and the Venezuelan Ministry of Catering and Agricultural Services, to obtain inflated, overpriced government contracts. Judging by the list of exhibits the US Attorney's Office has produced in response to its Discovery obligations, he has allegedly run a massive corruption operation invcolving Venezuela over several years, and taken millions of dollars in illicit profits, which he placed in lucrative residential real estate investments in Miami-Dade County. 

Compex Defense motions to dismiss, to exclude search warrants and emails, and to  recuse the prosecutors, are all pending, and contested by the US Attorney's Office; no decision has yet been entered by the Court. Whether any of the multiple motions have any merit at law is outside the scope of this article; He does have extremely competent and experienced defense counsel.

So why did the Government choose to accept $21.2m, wired in from a private Swiss bank, and allow this defendant who obviously is a quite capable transnational money launderer for corrupt Venezuelan officials, making a fortune from his criminal activities, allowed to bond out, after executing a personal surety bond for fifty million dollars? Apparently, someone considered him not to be a flight risk, due to his long evidence in Miami, with family, although he is not a citizen, and his Green Card status could be terminated upon his probable conviction. A flight risk? You be the judge. Could he be moving money while out on bond, for Venezuelan clients? 

I do note that funds for his family were set aside, under the supervision of retired FBI agent Ross Gaffney, not acting as defense counsel, to see that their living expenses were covered during the pendency of the case. Wakil does not appear to be cooperating; to the contrary, his attorneys are vigorously defending their client. Inasmuch as motions to dismiss are not yet resolved, there is no trial date set. 

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