in

Banker gets 10 years for billion-dollar money laundering scheme involving Maltese company

Malta-based private wealth management firm is being investigated for its role in the scheme

Matthias Krull (inset) pleaded guilty for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from Venezuelan state-owned oil company PDVSA

A German banker, Matthias Krull, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, after pleading guilty for his role in a billion-dollar international scheme to launder funds embezzled from Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA.

According to the US Homeland Security Investigations criminal complaint, millions were wired to a Maltese intermediary between late 2014 and early 2015.

A German private banker with Panamanian citizenship, Krull, pleaded guilty for his role in a billion-dollar scheme to launder funds from PDVSA.

Krull, who until three months ago was one of Julius Baer Group Ltd.’s wealth managers for Venezuela, was charged for his alleged role in using real estate and false-investment schemes to launder money stolen from PDVSA.

A Sliema-based private wealth management firm, Portmann Capital Management is being investigated for its role in the scheme, allegedly helping to launder $1.2 billion in funds looted from PDVSA. It is believed that the firm received upwards of €20 million for laundering the money at a 4% service charge.

According to the investigations, €511 million were laundered through Portmann Capital Management using a series of fraudulent bond issues and investment funds.

The Maltese registered company is owned by Swiss financier Kurt Portmann and his son Yves-Alain Portmann.

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) ordered Portmann Capital Management to refrain from processing outgoing transactions and from taking on any new clients.

Moreover, the Maltese police are looking into the transactions processed by the company.

daphne caruana galizia

Daphne Caruana Galizia posthumously awarded Martin Adler Prize

Malta puts the ‘cult’ in culture