BOGOTA, Colombia -- U.S. prosecutors believe Venezuela's former oil czar received bribes as part of a major graft scheme that allegedly took place in the OPEC nation's oil industry, says an American official familiar with the probe.
Rafael Ramirez is named as a bribe recipient although not charged in an indictment against other former officials that was partially unsealed Monday in Houston.
Prosecutors leading a widening probe into corruption at Venezuela's state-run oil giant PDVSA allege in the unsealed portion of the indictment that proceeds from bribes were shared with someone identified as "Official B."
That unidentified politician is Ramirez, a U.S. official tells The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter.
Ramirez in the past has denied corruption allegations.