A Colombian businessman who was a member of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s inner circle also served an informant for the DEA, previously sealed federal court papers revealed on Wednesday. 

Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman seen as Maduro’s financier, is on trial in Miami on charges of siphoning around $350 million out of Venezuela via the U.S. as part of a bribery scheme designed to channel funds to develop housing projects for the Caracas regime. 

In a now unsealed document submitted by federal prosecutors last February, it was revealed that Saab has worked as a DEA informant since at least 2018. In his dealings with the agency, Saab disclosed the bribes he paid to Venezuelan officials and he forfeited nearly $10 million of his fortune as part of his cooperation agreement with the U.S government.

Saab met with his DEA handlers in Colombia and other locations, but he was deactivated as a source after refusing to surrender himself prior to a May 30, 2019 deadline to do so.

A year later, Saab was arrested in Cape Verde after returning from a trip to Iran, a supporter of the Maduro government, and extradited to the U.S. on money-laundering charges. After his arrest, prosecutors agreed to drop all but one charge against Saab in exchange for his extradition from Cape Verde. 

Saab's interactions with the DEA were previously known from an earlier case linked to a former professor who was arrested in November 2019 for receiving money from the businessman. In those documents, it was noted that Saab began work with U.S authorities in 2017 but his lawyer at the time dismissed the claim as "totally false.