BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is asking the Treasury Department to investigate a former congressional intern who’s now helping Venezuela’s socialist government develop a cryptocurrency to evade U.S. sanctions.
The Miami Republican sent a letter Tuesday to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin saying Gabriel Jimenez owns a company in Florida identical in name to the one helping position the so-called petro among international investors.
The letter follows a report by The Associated Press describing Jimenez’s journey from anti-government activist to strategist of the state-backed cryptocurrency. He once interned for Ros Lehtinen.
Ros-Lehtinen said the Trump administration should sanction Jimenez and his company if he violated new rules banning Americans from dealing in the petro.
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Jimenez has described his work on the petro as benefiting Venezuelans hard hit by economic turmoil, not the government.