Home U.S. Corporate Morgan Stanley, Interactive Brokers Face Federal Scrutiny in Venezuela Probe: WSJ

Morgan Stanley, Interactive Brokers Face Federal Scrutiny in Venezuela Probe: WSJ

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Morgan Stanley, Interactive Brokers Face Federal Scrutiny in Venezuela Probe: WSJ
Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, is the Venezuelan state oil company. PHOTO: ISAAC URRUTIA/REUTERS Via WSJ

Federal authorities are scrutinizing two U.S. trading giants and the financial advisers who handled the accounts of a businessman under investigation for allegedly helping a former Venezuelan oil minister launder billions of dollars, according to people familiar with the matter.

Morgan Stanley, Interactive Brokers LLC and several financial advisory firms managed large-sum accounts for Venezuelan businessman Luis Mariano Rodriguez Cabello, who is under investigation for his role in allegedly helping conceal some of the $2 billion in question within the U.S. financial system for his cousin, former Venezuelan oil minister Rafael Ramírez, according to the people as well as government documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. and international agencies are examining whether Mr. Rodriguez helped Mr. Ramírez amass funds from Venezuelan state accounts through fraudulent insurance contracts with the country’s national oil company, and then laundered the money through overseas accounts, including in the U.S., according to the people and the documents.

As part of the investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other federal agencies are trying to determine why U.S. firms managed more than $100 million in securities and other assets for Mr. Rodriguez when the accounts displayed what authorities have listed as red flags for potential money-laundering activities, according to the people familiar with the matter.

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