May 25 (Reuters) - Oilman Abraham Shiera has been granted bail in return for a $1 million bond payment, as he awaits sentencing in Houston after admitting to taking part in a $1 billion conspiracy to pay bribes for contracts from PDVSA, Venezuela’s state oil company.
Shiera, the owner of Vertix Instrumentos, and his business partner and fellow Venezuelan oil magnate Roberto Rincon were charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Shiera, who has pleaded guilty, will wear an ankle bracelet and be confined to his home in the Southern District of Florida pending sentencing, according to a court order dated May 23. He will also be denied access to the two jets owned by entities he has an interest in.
Shiera has been detained since Dec. 16, when he and Rincon, president of Tradequip Services & Marine, were arrested on charges contained in an indictment filed in federal court in Houston.
Rincon has pleaded not guilty and remains in jail.
The indictment said five PDVSA officials, whom it did not name, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes made principally in the form of wire transfers but also through mortgage payments, airlines tickets and, in one case, whiskey.
Three former officials of Petroleos de Venezuela S.A. (PDVSA) have pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of accepting bribes from the businessmen.
PDVSA has alleged an international smear campaign by opponents of Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro trying to link the state-owned company to alleged wrongful acts committed by Venezuelan citizens and businesses. (Reporting by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)