TCRLA_Public/180424.mbx          T R O U B L E D   C O M P A N Y   R E P O R T E R

                     L A T I N   A M E R I C A

               Tuesday, April 24, 2018, Vol. 19, No. 79


                            Headlines



A R G E N T I N A

ARGENTINA: Issues Two Treasury Notes for $760 Million


B R A Z I L

CORURIPE LUX: S&P Rates Proposed Senior Unsecured Notes 'BB-'


C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S

FGL HOLDINGS: Moody's Assigns Ba3 Issuer Rating; Outlook Stable


D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C

* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 2017 Imports Were US$7.6BB Over Exports


J A M A I C A

JAMAICA: Industry Minister Plans to Start Micro Stock Exchange


P A R A G U A Y

PARAGUAY: Mario Abdo Benitez Wins Presidential Election


P U E R T O    R I C O

EMPRESAS BENITEZ: Case Summary & 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors
HOGAR CARINO: Unsecureds to Recoup 5% Over 5 Years Under Plan
KONA GRILL: Regains Compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rules
SAN MIGUEL LABEL: Unsecureds to Get $2,073 Per Month Until 2020


V E N E Z U E L A

PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Exec at Unit Pleads Guilty of Laundering


                            - - - - -


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A R G E N T I N A
=================


ARGENTINA: Issues Two Treasury Notes for $760 Million
-----------------------------------------------------
Hernan Nessi at Reuters reports that Argentina issued two U.S.
dollar-denominated Treasury notes for $760 million maturing in
August, the Finance Ministry said in the government's official
gazette.

That included $506.4 million in notes to be paid out in U.S.
dollars and $253.2 million in notes to be paid out in pesos at the
central bank's reference exchange rate, according to Reuters.

                           *     *    *

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
December 4, 2017, Moody's Investors Service has upgraded the
Government of Argentina's local and foreign currency issuer and
senior unsecured ratings to B2 from B3. The senior unsecured
shelves were upgraded to (P)B2 from (P)B3. The outlook on the
ratings is stable.  At the same time, Argentina's short-term
rating was affirmed at Not Prime (NP). The senior unsecured
ratings for unrestructured debt were affirmed at Ca and the
unrestructured senior unsecured shelf affirmed at (P)Ca .

Moody's said the key drivers of the upgrade of the rating to B2
are: (1) a record of macro-economic reforms that are beginning to
address long existing distortions in Argentina's economy; and (2)
the likelihood that reforms will continue and in turn sustain
the recent return to positive economic growth.

The stable outlook on Argentina's B2 ratings balances Argentina's
credit strengths of its large, diverse economy and moderate income
levels against the credit challenges posed by still high fiscal
deficits and a reliance on external financing, which increases its
vulnerability to external event risk, said Moody's.

On Nov. 10, 2017, Fitch Ratings revised Argentina's Outlook to
Positive from Stable and has affirmed its Long Term Foreign-
Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B'.

On Oct. 30, 2017, S&P Global Ratings raised its long-term
sovereign credit ratings on the Republic of Argentina to 'B+' from
'B'. The outlook on the long-term ratings is stable.  S&P also
affirmed its short-term sovereign credit ratings on Argentina at
'B'. At the same time, S&P raised its national scale ratings to
'raAA' from 'raA+'. In addition, S&P raised its transfer and
convertibility assessment to 'BB-' from 'B+', in line with its
assessment of sustained local access to foreign exchange.

As previously reported by the TCR-LA, Argentina defaulted on some
of its debt late July 30, 2014, after expiration of a 30-day grace
period on a US$539 million interest payment.  Earlier that day,
talks with a court-appointed mediator ended without resolving a
standoff between the country and a group of hedge funds seeking
full payment on bonds that the country had defaulted on in 2001.
A U.S. judge had ruled that the interest payment couldn't be made
unless the hedge funds led by Elliott Management Corp., got the
US$1.5 billion they claimed. The country hasn't been able to
access international credit markets since its US$95 billion
default 13 years ago. On March 30, 2016, Argentina's Congress
passed a bill that will allow the government to repay holders of
debt that the South American country defaulted on in 2001,
including a group of litigating hedge funds that won judgments
in a New York court. The bill passed by a vote of 54-16.



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B R A Z I L
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CORURIPE LUX: S&P Rates Proposed Senior Unsecured Notes 'BB-'
-------------------------------------------------------------
S&P Global Ratings assigned its 'BB-' issue-level rating to
Coruripe Lux S.A.'s proposed senior unsecured notes due 2025 of up
to $425 million. S&P also assigned the recovery rating of '3' to
the proposed notes, which indicates an average recovery
expectation of 50%-70% (rounded 65%).

The notes reflect the credit quality of the group, and will be
fully and unconditionally guaranteed by the parent company, S.A.
Usina Coruripe Acucar e Alcool (Coruripe; BB-/Stable/--), as well
as Coruripe Energetica S.A., the energy cogeneration company.
Coruripe will use the proceeds to prepay part of its refinanced
debt of about $550 million, replacing the remaining portion with
unsecured bank debt. S&P expects the issuance to lower Coruripe's
interest burden and further extend the company's overall debt
maturity profile.

RECOVERY ANALYSIS

Key Analytical Factors

S&P said, "We have assigned a 'BB-' rating to Coruripe Lux's
proposed senior unsecured notes, which reflects a recovery rating
of '3', given the recovery expectation of 50%-70% (rounded 65%).

"Our simulated path to default for Coruripe would encompass a
scenario in which the company's operations would suffer from
severe weather conditions, significantly lower sugar prices, more
expensive access to credit markets, and lower cane availability
due to unmaintained plantations over the years following minimum
capex levels."

Under such a scenario, Coruripe would be unable to generate enough
cash to service its debt, refinance short-term debt maturities
with banks, or access the capital markets.

S&P said, "Under a simulated default scenario, we believe that
Coruripe would be restructured rather than liquidated. In that
sense, we have continued using an EBITDA multiple valuation of 5x,
which is the standard for the agribusiness companies."

The combination of R$408.6 million emergence EBITDA after recovery
adjustment with a 5.0x multiple results in a gross enterprise
value (EV) at emergence of R$2 billion, with a recovery
expectation at '3', between 50%-70% (rounded 65%).

Simulated default assumptions

-- Simulated year of default: 2022
-- EBITDA at emergence: R$408.6 million
-- EBITDA multiple: 5.0x
-- Estimated gross EV: R$2 billion

Simplified waterfall

-- Net EV, after 5% of administrative expenses: R$1.9 billion
-- Priority debt: R$143 million (ACC lines)
-- Senior secured debt: R$170.5 million (FINAME, FNE, PrĀ¢-Renova
    and Progeren loans)
-- Unsecured debt: R$2.4 billion (mainly composed of the new
    notes issuance and bank debt)
-- Recovery expectation of the proposed senior unsecured notes:
    65%

RATINGS LIST

C S.A. Usina Coruripe Acucar e Alcool

  Corporate credit rating                    BB-/Stable/--

  Ratings Assigned

  Coruripe Lux S.A.
    Senior unsecured                           BB-
     Recovery rating                           3(65%)



==========================
C A Y M A N  I S L A N D S
==========================


FGL HOLDINGS: Moody's Assigns Ba3 Issuer Rating; Outlook Stable
---------------------------------------------------------------
Moody's Investors Service has assigned a Ba3 issuer rating to FGL
Holdings (formerly CF Corporation) as well as a Ba2 issuer rating
to CF Bermuda Holdings Limited (CF Bermuda) and a Baa2 insurance
financial strength (IFS) rating to F&G Re Ltd (F&G Re) with a
stable outlook. Additionally, Moody's affirmed the Ba2 senior
unsecured debt rating of Fidelity & Guaranty Life Holdings, Inc.
(FGLH), a wholly-owned subsidiary of FGL US Holdings (unrated) and
the Baa2 IFS rating of FGLH's primary operating company, Fidelity
& Guaranty Life Insurance Company (FGLIC). The outlook on all
entities is stable.

RATINGS RATIONALE

The assignment of the ratings follows the completion of FGL
Holdings' previously announced merger transaction under which CF
Corporation (now FGL Holdings) acquired Fidelity & Guaranty Life.

The Baa2 IFS rating of F&G Re reflects Moody's view that F&G Re
and FGLIC are treated as one analytical unit due to F&G Re
primarily reinsuring business from FGLIC. If F&G Re's strategy
changes relative to Moody's expectations, it may no longer be
rated the same as FGLIC. Additionally, CF Bermuda's Ba2 issuer
rating is the standard three notches from the Baa2 IFS rating of
the insurance operating entities. The Ba3 issuer rating of FGL
Holdings is one notch lower than the Ba2 issuer rating of CF
Bermuda reflecting structural subordination.

The rating agency expects FGL to maintain financial leverage below
25% prospectively as well as appropriate capital levels. The
rating agency stated that it will evaluate FGL Holdings' efforts
to accelerate growth to ensure that the company's actions remain
in line with the current ratings. In addition, Moody's expects the
new tax law will make it less beneficial to cede directly sold
business from its US operations to F&G Re, its Bermuda affiliate.

FGLIC's credit profile reflects the company's growing market
position, especially in the fixed indexed annuity (FIA) space, as
well as its good profitability, and higher investment yield from
portfolio repositioning efforts. FGLIC has been able to balance
the healthy growth of its FIA business while expanding its
footprint in the indexed universal life (IUL) insurance market.

The rating agency noted that these strengths are offset by the
concentration of FGLIC's sales in FIAs, along with the associated
hedging and asset liability management challenges. FGLIC's sales
are likely to continue to be highly concentrated in annuity
products in the near-term. Additionally, the company's primary
distribution channel is via independent marketing organizations
(IMOs) which could be impacted by the Department of Labor's new
fiduciary rules, notwithstanding the potential for alterations or
rescission.

RATING DRIVERS

According to Moody's, the following could lead to an upgrade of
FGLH's and FGLIC's ratings: 1) sustained statutory return on
capital exceeding 6%; and 2) more balanced growth in profitably
priced new FIA business and life insurance. Conversely, the
following factors could result in a downgrade of FGLH's and
FGLIC's ratings: 1) increased investment risk from more aggressive
asset allocations; 2) adjusted financial leverage above 25%; 3)
sustained statutory return on capital less than 6%; 4) significant
use of reinsurance to finance growth; or 5) more aggressive
capital actions or the consolidated NAIC RBC ratio (company action
level) declining below 400%.

The following ratings were assigned with stable outlooks:

FGL Holdings -- issuer rating at Ba3;

CF Bermuda Holdings Limited -- issuer rating at Ba2;

F&G Re Ltd -- insurance financial strength rating at Baa2.

The following ratings were affirmed with stable outlooks:

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company -- insurance financial
strength rating at Baa2;

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Holdings, Inc. -- senior unsecured debt
rating at Ba2.

FGLH is an insurance holding company headquartered in Des Moines,
Iowa. As of September 30, 2017, FGLH reported total assets of
about $29 billion and shareholders' equity of approximately $2.2
billion.

The principal methodology used in these ratings was Global Life
Insurers published in April 2016.



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D O M I N I C A N   R E P U B L I C
===================================


* DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 2017 Imports Were US$7.6BB Over Exports
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dominican Today reports that Dominican Republic's imports in 2017
were US$7.6 billion more than exports during the same period,
according to data by the Central Bank.

The official figures show Dominican exports were US$10.1 billion
last year, while imports were US$17.7 billion that same period,
according to Dominican Today.

Industrial products led Dominican Republic's sales abroad with
US$7.7 billion, of which US$2.2 billion were by domestic companies
compared to US$5.5 billion from free zone companies, which are tax
exempt, the report notes.

Mining exports were US$1.8 billion, led by gold (US$1.5 billion),
ferronickel (US$152.7 million) and silver (US$82.7 million), the
report relays.

                             Agro

Exports from agro were US$641.6 million, led by bananas (US$277.6
million), and followed by cocoa beans (US$54.6 million), the
report notes.

Economist Pavel Isa said the figures continue to show a
significant slump in exports, noting that despite last year's
positive growth rate (2.9%), it's still very low, the report says.

"This reflects two things, first, Dominican Republic's reduced
productive and competitive capacity to penetrate international
markets, but also to compete with imports in the domestic market,"
Isa said, quoted by Diario Libre, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
April 23, 2018, on April 19, 2018, S&P Global Ratings affirmed its
'BB-/B' long-and short-term sovereign credit ratings on the
Dominican Republic.  The outlook remains stable. The transfer and
convertibility (T&C) assessment is unchanged at 'BB+'.



=============
J A M A I C A
=============


JAMAICA: Industry Minister Plans to Start Micro Stock Exchange
---------------------------------------------------------------
RJR News reports that Audley Shaw, Minister of Industry, Commerce,
Agriculture and Fisheries, disclosed plans to establish a micro
stock exchange, to complement the junior stock exchange.

Mr. Shaw said the micro stock exchange will target micro and
medium enterprises needing capital, according to RJR News.

Speaking at the JMA Expo at the National Indoor Sports Centre, the
minister said the micro stock exchange will provide capitalization
of between $5 million and $50 million for businesses, the report
notes.

He said the Jamaica Stock Exchange has been given instruction to
advance the establishment, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
Feb. 5, 2018, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Jamaica's Long-Term
Foreign-Currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'B' and has
revised the Rating Outlook to Positive from Stable.



===============
P A R A G U A Y
===============


PARAGUAY: Mario Abdo Benitez Wins Presidential Election
--------------------------------------------------------
BBC News reports that conservative former senator Mario Abdo
Benitez has been elected president of Paraguay.

He beat his closest rival, Efrain Alegre from the liberal
opposition alliance, by four percentage points, according to BBC
News.

The result means the right-wing Colorado Party, which has
dominated Paraguayan politics for decades, will maintain its hold
on power, the report notes.

Mr. Abdo Benitez, 46, has promised to retain low tax policies and
boost agricultural exports, the report relays.

With almost all of the ballots counted, he had won 46.46% of the
vote compared to 42.73% for Mr. Alegre, the report discloses.

"My administration will be committed to gaining the confidence of
those who did not accompany us," he said in his acceptance speech,
the report relays.

"[We] welcome those who want to build a just homeland, a homeland
with equity, a homeland with moral, strong, independent
institutions," he added.

The report notes that Mr. Alegre has not yet conceded victory, but
he told reporters that he "respects" the preliminary results.

Mr. Abdo Benitez is the son of a close aide to former military
dictator General Alfredo Stroessner, and has faced criticism for
defending the former leader's record, the report relays.

Gen Stroessner ruled the country from 1954 to 1989 and is viewed
by critics as one of Latin America's most secretive and sinister
dictators, the report says.

Paraguayans also voted to elect senators, parliament deputies,
governors and other local officeholders, the report notes.

Outgoing President Horacio Cartes, who triggered riots last year
when he tried to change the constitution to allow him to seek a
second term, won a seat in the Senate, the report discloses.

The current constitution, established in 1992 after the
dictatorship, limits the head of state to a single five-year term,
the report relays.

The report says that Paraguay, a leading exporter of soybeans and
beef, has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years.

Political debate in the low-key electoral campaign focused mainly
on security, corruption and social issues, over which analysts
noted the two presidential rivals held relatively similar
positions, the report notes.

Both candidates pledged to reform the country's judicial system to
more effectively tackle corruption, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
March 14, 2018, Fitch Ratings has assigned a 'BB' rating to
Paraguay's US$530 million bond, maturing March 13, 2048. The bond
has a coupon of 5.6%.  Proceeds from the issuance will be used for
capital expenditures and to refinance a portion of outstanding
debt.



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P U E R T O    R I C O
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EMPRESAS BENITEZ: Case Summary & 20 Largest Unsecured Creditors
---------------------------------------------------------------
Debtor: Empresas Benitez Toledo Inc.
        PO Box 767
        Camuy, PR 00627

Business Description: Empresas Benitez Toledo Inc. is the fee
                      simple owner of a dairy farm located in
                      Isabela, Puerto Rico having an appraised
                      value of $1.88 million.  The company
                      previously sought bankruptcy protection on
                      Jan. 14, 2013 (Bankr. D. P.R. Case No. 13-
                      00186).

Chapter 11 Petition Date: April 19, 2018

Case No.: 18-02094

Court: United States Bankruptcy Court
       District of Puerto Rico (Old San Juan)

Judge: Hon. Enrique S. Lamoutte Inclan

Debtor's Counsel: Homel Mercado Justiniano, Esq.
                  8 Calle Ramirez Silva
                  Ensanche Martinez
                  Mayaguez, PR 00680
                  Tel: (787) 831-2577
                  Fax: (787) 805-7350
                  Email: hmjlaw2@gmail.com

Total Assets: $6.94 million

Total Liabilities: $8.26 million

The petition was signed by Carlos R. Benitez Lopez, president.

A full-text copy of the petition containing, among other items, a
list of the Debtor's 20 largest unsecured creditors is available
for free at: http://bankrupt.com/misc/prb18-02094.pdf


HOGAR CARINO: Unsecureds to Recoup 5% Over 5 Years Under Plan
-------------------------------------------------------------
Hogar Carino, Inc., filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the
District of Puerto Rico a plan of reorganization and accompanying
disclosure statement proposing to pay general unsecured creditors
5% of their total allowed claims during the five years following
the effective date.

The Debtor operates its business, d/b/a Hogar Carino I and Hogar
Carino II, at a rented commercial property dedicated to provide
home care for the elderly in San Juan and Carolina.

The Plan will be funded by cash on hand, funds to be obtained from
the operation Hogar Carino I and Hogar Carino II, new income from
the operation of another elderly care facility (Carino III), and
future income from savings on reduction of operational expenses.

A full-text copy of the Disclosure Statement is available at:

           http://bankrupt.com/misc/prb17-02648-69.pdf

                       About Hogar Carino

Hogar Carino, Inc., filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition (Bankr.
D. P.R. Case No. 17-02648) on April 18, 2017.  In the petition
signed by Elizabeth Noemi Pardo Rivera, vice president, the Debtor
disclosed total assets of $516,698 and total liabilities of $1.54
million.  The Hon. Brian K. Tester presides over the case.  The
Law Office of Luis D. Flores Gonzalez is counsel to the Debtor.


KONA GRILL: Regains Compliance with Nasdaq Listing Rules
--------------------------------------------------------
Kona Grill, Inc. received on April 12, 2018, a letter from The
Nasdaq Stock Market LLC confirming that the Company has regained
compliance with the Exchange's listing rules.

Kona Grill disclosed it has been communicating with Nasdaq
regarding an instance of non-compliance with certain corporate
governance requirements of the Nasdaq Listing Rules.

In July 2017, it was brought to the Company's attention that it
may have failed to obtain valid shareholder approval at its April
30, 2015 annual meeting for a proposal to amend the Company's 2012
Stock Award Plan to increase the Plan's share reserve.  The
Company investigated and determined that the Plan amendment was
not properly approved in accordance with the Company's bylaws in
effect at that time, because the number of affirmative "yes" votes
did not exceed the majority of the Company's outstanding shares.

The Company granted stock options in 2016 and 2017 net of
forfeitures, of 401,106 options under the Plan that were
inadvertently issued in excess of the number of shares authorized
under the Plan, because of the shareholder approval issue that was
subsequently discovered.

On Feb. 15, 2018, the Company voluntarily reported to Nasdaq that
these option grants were potentially made in violation of Nasdaq's
shareholder approval rules under Listing Rule 5635(c).  The
Company confirmed to the Nasdaq staff that the Company entered
into option amendment agreements with the holders of the 401,106
options.

Pursuant to the Amendments, the holders of these options have
agreed not to exercise the options until the requisite shareholder
approval is obtained to increase the number of authorized shares
under the Plan.  At the annual meeting to be held on May 8, 2018,
the shareholders will vote on a proposal to approve such an
amendment, upon which approval the restriction on exercise of the
options would be removed.

The April 12 letter stated that, although the Company violated the
Rule as a result of the excess option grants, the Company has
regained compliance with the Rule due to having procured the
Amendments from such option holders.  The letter confirmed that,
subject to certain disclosure requirements, the matter is now
closed.

                        About Kona Grill

Kona Grill, Inc., headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, Kona
Grill, Inc. -- http://www.konagrill.com/-- currently owns and
operates 46 restaurants in 23 states and Puerto Rico.  The
Company's restaurants offer freshly prepared food, attentive
service, and an upscale contemporary ambiance.  Additionally, Kona
Grill has three restaurants that operate under a franchise
agreement in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Vaughan, Canada and
Monterrey, Mexico.

Kona Grill incurred a net loss of $23.43 million in 2017 and a net
loss of $21.62 million in 2016.  As of Dec. 31, 2017, Kona Grill
had $91.79 million in total assets, $86.13 million in total
liabilities and $5.66 million in total stockholders' equity.

The Company has incurred losses resulting in an accumulated
deficit of $79.7 million, has a net working capital deficit of
$7.6 million and outstanding debt of $37.8 million as of Dec. 31,
2017.  The Company said in its 2017 Annual Report that these
conditions together with recent debt covenant violations and
subsequent debt covenant waivers and debt amendments, raise
substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going
concern.


SAN MIGUEL LABEL: Unsecureds to Get $2,073 Per Month Until 2020
---------------------------------------------------------------
San Miguel Label MFG, Inc., filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
for the District of Puerto Rico a plan of reorganization and
accompanying disclosure statement proposing to make 60 monthly
payments of $2,073.69 each until year 2020 to holders of general
unsecured claims.  Total payout to general unsecured creditors is
$124,421.

The Debtor is a corporation dedicated to manufacture and
distribution of plastic bags and labels.  The Debtor's clients are
supermarkets and other business which, in turn, sell and or
distribute goods.

Payments and distributions under the Plan will be funded by the
regular course of business operations through the monthly income.

A full-text copy of the Disclosure Statement is available at:

          http://bankrupt.com/misc/prb16-00820-156.pdf

                    About San Miguel Label

Based in Ciales, Puerto Rico, San Miguel Label Mfg. Inc. filed for
Chapter 11 protection (Bankr. D.P.R. Case No. 16-00820) on Feb. 4,
2016, with estimated assets of $100,000 to $500,000 and estimated
liabilities at $1 million to $10 million.  Moises San Miguel
Lorenzana, president, signed the petition.  Nilda M. Gonzalez
Cordero, Esq., of Gonzalez Cordero Law Offices, is the Debtor's
counsel.



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V E N E Z U E L A
=================


PETROLEOS DE VENEZUELA: Exec at Unit Pleads Guilty of Laundering
----------------------------------------------------------------
Susan Heavey at Reuters reports that a former official of a
subsidiary of Venezuela's state oil company Petroleos
de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA) pleaded guilty to a U.S. charge of
conspiracy to commit money laundering, the U.S. Justice Department
said.

Cesar Rincon, a Venezuelan citizen who was extradited to the
United States from Spain after his arrest there last year, pleaded
guilty in federal court in Houston to one count of conspiracy to
commit money laundering, the department said, according to
Reuters.

He was one of five former Venezuelan officials accused in February
of soliciting bribes in exchange for helping vendors win favorable
treatment from Petroleos de Venezuela SA, the report notes.

The report relays that Mr. Rincon, 50, a former general manager at
PDVSA's procurement unit Bariven, agreed to forfeit $7.03 million,
and faces sentencing on July 9 in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Texas.

Others charged included Nervis Villalobos, a former Venezuelan
vice minister of energy; Rafael Reiter, who worked as PDVSA's head
of security and loss prevention; and Luis Carlos de Leon, a former
official at a state-run electric company, the report says.

Those three like Rincon were arrested in Spain in October at the
request of U.S. authorities amid a foreign bribery investigation
into the financially struggling PDVSA, the report notes.

Also charged in the case is Alejandro Isturiz Chiesa, an assistant
to Bariven's president, who remains at large, the report
discloses.

As part of his plea agreement, Rincon also admitted to soliciting
and receiving bribes from other owners of U.S.-based energy
companies in exchange for helping them win business with PDVSA,
the report says.

The report notes that Mr. De Leon was extradited from Spain on
March 9, and was ordered to remain in custody, while Villalobos
and Reiter remain in Spanish custody, the statement said.

All five were charged with money laundering, while De Leon and
Villalobos were also charged with conspiring to violate the U.S.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the report relays.

The case flowed out of a U.S. investigation into what prosecutors
have previously called a $1 billion bribery plot involving
payments to PDVSA officials that became public with the arrest of
two businessmen in 2015, the report discloses.

In an indictment announced in February, it was said that from 2011
to 2013, the five Venezuelans sought bribes and kickbacks from
vendors in exchange for helping them secure PDVSA contracts and
gain priority over other vendors for outstanding invoices during
its liquidity crisis, the report adds.

As reported in the Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America on
March 19, 2018, Moody's Investors Service downgraded Petroleos
de Venezuela, S.A.(PDVSA)'s ratings to C from Ca. Moody's also
lowered the company's baseline credit assessment (BCA) to c
from ca.


                            ***********


Monday's edition of the TCR-LA delivers a list of indicative
prices for bond issues that reportedly trade well below par.
Prices are obtained by TCR-LA editors from a variety of outside
sources during the prior week we think are reliable.   Those
sources may not, however, be complete or accurate.  The Monday
Bond Pricing table is compiled on the Friday prior to publication.
Prices reported are not intended to reflect actual trades.  Prices
for actual trades are probably different.  Our objective is to
share information, not make markets in publicly traded securities.
Nothing in the TCR-LA constitutes an offer or solicitation to buy
or sell any security of any kind.  It is likely that some entity
affiliated with a TCR-LA editor holds some position in the
issuers' public debt and equity securities about which we report.

Tuesday's edition of the TCR-LA features a list of companies with
insolvent balance sheets obtained by our editors based on the
latest balance sheets publicly available a day prior to
publication.  At first glance, this list may look like the
definitive compilation of stocks that are ideal to sell short.
Don't be fooled.  Assets, for example, reported at historical cost
net of depreciation may understate the true value of a firm's
assets.  A company may establish reserves on its balance sheet for
liabilities that may never materialize.  The prices at which
equity securities trade in public market are determined by more
than a balance sheet solvency test.

Submissions about insolvency-related conferences are encouraged.
Send announcements to conferences@bankrupt.com


                            ***********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Troubled Company Reporter-Latin America is a daily newsletter
co-published by Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless
Hills, Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C.,
USA, Marites O. Claro, Joy A. Agravante, Rousel Elaine T.
Fernandez, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Ivy B. Magdadaro, and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2018.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1529-2746.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The TCR Latin America subscription rate is US$775 per half-year,
delivered via e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members
of the same firm for the term of the initial subscription or
balance thereof are US$25 each.  For subscription information,
contact Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000.
.


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