In Miami federal court, Ex-Venezuela mayor pleads guilty for $3.8 million in bribes

(Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

MIAMI – A one-time ally of the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has pleaded guilty for taking $3.8 million in bribes to help steer lucrative oil contracts to companies tied to officials in Venezuela’s socialist government and military.

Jhonnathan Marín was mayor of the port city of Guanta until 2017, when he resigned and fled the country amid a purge at state run oil giant PDVSA.

In his plea agreement Thursday in Miami, he agreed to cooperate with federal law enforcement investigating corruption in Venezuela. He also admitted to helping an unnamed co-conspirator win tens of millions of dollars in contracts from a joint venture operated with France’s Total.