Inside the $800K Suitcase Scandal

A wealthy Miami man implicates Hugo Chavez in an embarrassing cover-up
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Jan 10, 2008 6:29 PM CST
In this picture released by Government Palace, Argentina's outgoing president Nestor Kirchner, right, waves to supporters accompanied by his wife, President-elect Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, during...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – At the center of an international scandal linking Argentina, Venezuela, and a suitcase filled with nearly $800,000 in cash is a rotund dual US-Venezuelan citizen who lives in a million-dollar Miami condo and has a fondness for fancy watches and fast cars. Bloomberg takes a closer look at the bizarre case of Guido Alejandro Antonini Wilson and five of his associates charged in a cover-up.

Since he was caught with the cash in August—money the US says was a payoff from Hugo Chavez to the campaign of Argentinian presidential candidate Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner—Antonini has cooperated with the FBI. His conversations, at pricey dinners and secret meetings, have led to the indictments of the men the US says acted on behalf of Chavez to hide his involvement with the payoff.