US sentences Hugo Chavez's nurse to 15 years in prison for money laundering and bribery

Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén and her husband will also have to return US$136 million in assets and cash.

Claudia Patricia Díaz Guillén, the nurse-treasurer of Venezuelan tyrant Hugo Chávez, and her husband, Adrián José Velásquez Figueroa, a former Presidential bodyguard, were sentenced last Wednesday to 15 years imprisonment and three years probation in addition to having to repay US$136 million in cash and assets and pay a fine of $75,000 each. The sentence states that this is the amount of money the two managed to accumulate through their illicit money laundering and bribery activities. The former national treasurer assured the judge that she would have liked to "collaborate" with the U.S. government but that she lacked information that could be of interest to the U.S. authorities. In his closing argument, she asked for "compassion" from the court.

The couple had dual Spanish and Venezuelan nationality and held important positions during the Government of Hugo Chávez. Claudia Patricia Guillén was a member of President Chávez's Honor Guard and part of the team of doctors and nurses that cared for the military man who died of cancer. Her husband, Adrián José Velásquez Figueroa, was head of the Security Department of the Miraflores Presidential Palace during the Hugo Chávez administration.