Venezuela Loses Wiggle Room to Skirt $8B Debt

     (CN) – The 6th Circuit agreed to stay a reported $8 billion complaint against Venezuela filed by a creditor in 2004. Earlier this month, the Cincinnati-based federal appeals court refused to rehear the case en banc.




     Venezuela has 90 days to craft a petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to review the matter. The 6th Circuit said it would reinstate the case if Venezuela fails to timely file its petition, or as soon as the High Court “disposes of the case.”
     The Columbus, Ohio-based DRPF dba Skye Ventures sued Venezuela in 2004 in Ohio federal court for defaulting on two promissory notes worth $100 million.
     Venezuela claimed it was immune from U.S. federal jurisdiction and that the notes are forgeries, but the three-judge appellate panel in Cincinnati refused to dismiss the case in September.
     Insiders say that the Supreme Court is unlikely to take up a case that the circuit court declined to rehear, according to media reports.
     The New York Post reported in December that Venezuela could face seizure of its 14,000 Citgo gas stations in the U.S. if it does not honor its $8 billion bond debt. The article also estimates that the South American country has spent at least $40 million fighting the claim.

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