Authorities in New York City plan to auction an apartment in central Manhattan next month owned by a Venezuelan media mogul who has ties to the government of Socialist President Nicolas Maduro. The move will be taken after US sanctions forced the owner to default on his financial obligations, according to court documents.
Raul Gorrin, who owns the Venezuelan television channel Globovision, paid $ 18.8 million for the luxury apartment. It is 4,500 square meters, is located on the 47th floor and was purchased in November 2017. Gorrin risks losing the apartment, which overlooks the Empire State Building and Central Park, after being sanctioned in January 2019 as part of its efforts. Trump administration to remove Maduro. City officials could hold the auction on July 6.
Sanctions block access to the US financial system and freeze US assets.
Washington accuses Gorrin of bribing Venezuela’s treasury to obtain the right to conduct foreign exchange transactions, diverting billions of dollars from the country’s funds. He is a fugitive and is believed to be in Venezuela.
Since his sanction, Gorrin has not paid more than $ 600,000 in monthly fees and late fees for his apartment, according to documents filed in a New York state court. The apartment’s common expenses exceed $ 10,000 a month, court records show.
Gorrin said in a 2020 hearing that sanctions prevented him from covering his expenses. He said he asked for a payment authorization, but it was not approved.
In August 2020, the Board obtained a court order to collect $ 184,876 from the owner for late payments in 2019. The Board of Directors is requesting another court order for unpaid payments beginning in 2020. Last year, the Board received permission to sell the unit to recover the money.
Venezuela’s intelligence ministry and mogul’s lawyers did not comment on Reuters.
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