Venezuelan ex-electric chief among 2 indicted in US

MIAMI — Authorities say two former Venezuelan officials have been indicted on U.S. money-laundering charges, including the ex-minister for electricity.

The Miami U.S. attorney's office said in a news release Thursday that 60-year-old Luis Alfredo Motta Dominguez faces seven counts of money laundering and one count of money-laundering conspiracy.

Prosecutors say Motta and 55-year-old Eustiquio Jose Lugo Gomez awarded $60 million in contracts to three Florida-based companies in return for bribes, most of which were laundered through South Florida financial institutions. Lugo was procurement director at Venezuela's state-run Corpoelec.

Authorities say the two are not in U.S. custody. It wasn't clear Thursday if they had U.S. lawyers to represent them.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro recently replaced Motta as electricity minister after a series of blackouts struck the country earlier this year.

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This story has been edited to correct spelling of Maduro. Will be updated.

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