Venezuelan firm sues in Miami over alleged fraud
by US and Latin American companies.
BY LATINVEX STAFF
The perils of Venezuela’s currency
restrictions have spurred a lawsuit by a Venezuelan company against companies
in the United States and Latin America.
Factoring de Venezuela, CA (AFV) claims it was defrauded of 130 million
bolivars (worth $8.6 million dollars) when it was induced into a fraudulent
short-term “loan” transaction which AFV was led to believe would function as a
Now AFV is suing a slew of Miami and Latin American-based companies and their
principals, including Miami residents Luis Wolkowiez and Jorge Reyes, for
the $8.6 million dollars AFV claims it was never repaid from the original
234.6 million bolivars (valued at $15.5 million dollars) it transferred in
December 2012 to a Venezuelan entity owned by Wolkowiez pursuant to a loan
agreement with British Virgin Islands-based Atmosphere Fund.
CONSPIRACY, CIVIL THEFT
AFV’s amended complaint was filed Aug. 30 in Miami-Dade Circuit court by Edward
H. Davis, Jr. of Astigarraga Davis. The AFV suit alleges breach of
contract, rescission, unjust enrichment, conversion, conspiracy, and civil
theft under Florida statute, along with several fraud claims stemming from the
fraudulent inducement of AFV in the bolivars-for-dollars transaction. The
Florida civil theft claim, if substantiated, would entitle AFV to treble
to the lawsuit, a Colombian broker, Ricardo Ripepi, allegedly conspired with
Santiago Goiri of Curacao-based Amicorp Fund Services and Jorge Reyes, a broker
in the Brickell office of CP Capital Securities in Miami, to induce AFV of
Venezuela to sign short-term loan agreements and in early December 2012 to
transfer 234.6 million bolivars into a bank account owned by
Wolkowiez’s Inversiones 01590 company in Venezuela for the benefit of
borrower Atmosphere Fund, a portfolio company based in the BVI.
The loan agreements were allegedly signed by Martin Litwak, a well-known
Uruguayan corporate attorney who serves as Director to Atmosphere Fund.
“Shortly after the transfer of the 234.6 million bolivars, Reyes informed AFV
that repayment of the funds would take longer than had been previously agreed
to and then began misrepresenting when the funds would be repaid,” the lawsuit
Unable to come to terms on a timeline for the repayment of the funds, AFV
demanded that the transaction be cancelled. However only 104.6 million bolivars
have been repaid by Wolkowiez to date. Despite retaining AFV’s 130
million bolivars, defendants Wolkowiez, Reyes, Litwak, and Armando Iachini, an
ultimate beneficial owner of Atmosphere Fund who also owns numerous businesses
in Florida and is a construction mogul in Venezuela, are now disclaiming any obligation
to return the funds.
In its amended complaint AFV is seeking to pierce
the corporate veil of Inversiones
01590, and Construcciones Yamaro, a major Caracas-based construction company,
in order to hold Wolkowiez and Iachini, respectively, individually liable
because they allegedly used their Venezuela-based companies to commit fraud.
Wolkowiez, a Venezuelan citizen currently living in Miami, owns and operates
several business including SLB Investments, which exchanges currencies, Zona
Black, which sells used cell phones, and Doral Wine & Spirits, along with
several other entities registered with Florida’s Secretary of the State.
of the named defendants are alleged agents, representatives or beneficial
owners of Atmosphere Fund, in addition to other companies that arranged the
“My client alleges that like many frauds, this one utilized multiple people and
entities to induce the transfer of funds, receive the funds, and ultimately, to
create delay, confusion, and false deniability as to the validity, authority,
and terms of the contract,” Davis says.
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