(…) “Miami businessman Claudio Osorio, who is currently serving 12 years in federal prison on fraud charges, leveraged his relationship with Bill and Hillary Clinton to help his company InnoVida obtain a $10 million loan from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for a Haiti housing project in 2010.
OPIC is an independent government agency that submits its annual budget requests through the State Department and works closely with the agency.
Bill Clinton helped arrange for a high-powered Florida law firm to represent Osorio during loan negotiations with OPIC, according to court testimony. An internal OPIC memo said Hillary Clinton was prepared to marshal State Department resources to assist with the donor’s project.
InnoVida was supposed to use the funding to build houses in Haiti after the earthquake, but it defaulted on the loan and the homes were never built.
After InnoVida went bankrupt in 2011, a court-appointed investigator said it appeared that over $30 million of its funds had been diverted to foreign bank accounts and were not retrievable.
Osorio was later accused of using the company to run a Ponzi-like scheme, bilking government and private investors out of a collective $40 million and using their money to fund his lavish lifestyle—making payments on his Miami Beach mansion, buying a Maserati and maintaining his Colorado ski chalet.
He pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in 2013.
Much of the media coverage of InnoVida has focused on Jeb Bush’s involvement as a consultant and board member. But previously unreported government documents and testimony from the 2013 fraud trial of InnoVida’s chief financial officer reveal that Osorio’s relationship with the Clintons played a central role in InnoVida’s efforts to obtain OPIC funding for the house-building scam.
The OPIC official who helped approve the InnoVida loan wrote in a 2010 internal memo that “secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has made available State Department resources to assist with logistical arrangements” for the project and “Former president Bill Clinton is personally in contact with the company [InnoVida] to organize its logistical and support needs.”
The memo added that the Clinton Global Initiative had agreed to purchase “6500 homes in Haiti from InnoVida within the next year.”
During the loan process, Osorio repeatedly emphasized his connections to the Clintons during conversations with OPIC officials, boasting about taking a trip to Haiti with the former president after the earthquake and telling an OPIC manager that he had a direct line to Hillary Clinton.” (Read more: Washington Free Beacon, 7/17/2015)