Díaz and her husband are accused of taking at least $4.2 million in the bribery scheme.
In exchange for the payments, prosecutors say Díaz secured businessman Raúl Gorrín, owner of the country’s last major private TV network, Globovisión, the rights to exchange more than a billion dollars in foreign currencies in the U.S. on behalf of the Venezuelan government. U.S. prosecutors say they and other officials close to Chávez reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in profit.
Gorrín remains in Venezuela and is on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's most-wanted list. The U.S. imposed sanctions on his TV network in 2019.
Records show the couple transferred millions of dollars out of the socialist country by buying gold bars through a shell company in the Caribbean and storing them in a vault in the European country of Liechtenstein.
Díaz was a former petty officer in Venezuela’s navy who took care of an ailing Chávez before the Venezuelan leader died of cancer in 2013. In 2011, Chávez named her Venezuela’s national treasurer, but she was replaced in 2013 when Chávez’s successor Nicolás Maduro was elected.