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Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠: Former Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico told how a contractor mediated in favor of the Venezuelan Julio Herrera Velutini and his Bancrédito International Bank and Trust to close an investigation for breaches of regulations – REPORTE DE LA ECONOMÍA


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In the image, from left to right: Víctor Rodríguez Bonilla, John Blakeman Ortiz and Julio Herrera Velutini

The former Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico, Víctor Rodríguez Bonilla, pointed out that, shortly after being confirmed in the position, he received a visit, in his office, from the contractor John Blakeman Ortiz who asked him to intervene on behalf of Bancrédito International Bank and Trust, an entity that was under examination by the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions (OCIF) for non-compliance with its regulations.

Blakeman Ortiz was a collaborator in the electoral campaign of former Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced, but Rodríguez Bonilla remembered him as someone who attended the meeting, in the office of former Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz, during the process of his confirmation for the position of OCIF , revealed The New Day .

A few days after Rodríguez Bonilla was confirmed, on June 4, 2020, Blakeman Ortiz reported to the OCIF office in Santurce. “I received a text message from John Blakeman apparently on behalf of Bancrédito. He arrives at the building. My memory is that the meeting lasted about three to four minutes, “he said in a phone call with El Nuevo Día.

As reported by El Nuevo Día, the international bank, owned by Venezuelan Julio Herrera Velutini, had an OCIF examination open “for many years because it was in default.”

Rodríguez Bonilla said that Blakeman Ortiz “approaches me with the purpose of intervening” in the resolution of the exam against Bancrédito.

However, Rodríguez Bonilla was inhibited from dealing with matters of that banking institution for having served as a consultant to Bancrédito’s compliance committee, prior to assuming the position in the OCIF, as published by El Nuevo Día. “I tell you that it is impossible because I am inhibited, that what he was asking me for was an unethical and illegal action,” said the person who went to the federal authorities to explain what was happening.

“I saw it as undue pressure, totally unethical, illegal and immoral, which went against my dignity as a person,” said Rodríguez Bonilla.

The former OCIF commissioner stressed that “I never received a call from the former governor” and the only meeting he had with her was about budgetary aspects of his agency.

He denied, in turn, any relationship with the general manager of Paulson & Co., Fahad Ghaffar, of whom a source commented that he was the one who recommended that the then governor appoint him to the position of commissioner. The appointment came in May, a month after the former chief executive removed George Joyner’s trust as commissioner.

Federal authorities investigated Joyner’s dismissal as one of the alleged actions taken by Vázquez Garced to illegally benefit the owner of Bancrédito for financing his campaign against Governor Pedro Pierluisi. The donation, in itself, is also considered illegal for having come from a foreigner without the right to influence the electoral results.

“For some reason, they thought that because I had been a consultant for Bancrédito, I was going to favor them in the proceedings against them, when it is quite the opposite: I was inhibited,” Rodríguez Bonilla answered questions from El Nuevo Día.

Michael Novakhov – SharedNewsLinks℠