Interviews with Mark Fullbrook as witnesses in the case against Julio Herrera Velutini
It was revealed on Sunday that Mark Fullbrook, the new Downing Street chief of staff, had been questioned by the FBI as a witness over work he performed for a banker accused of bribery.
When Julio Herrera Velutini, a Venezuelan-Italian financier suspected of buying off the governor of Puerto Rico at the same time, needed research in 2020, Fullbrook was serving as a political consultant.
Fullbrook, a longtime senior organizer several in Conservative party politics who was appointed No. 10 chief of staff after managing Liz Truss’s leadership campaign, has maintained that he did not break the law and that he was unaware that his former client might have had improper goals when hiring him as a consultant.
In exchange for the island’s financial regulator being fired because they were looking into Herrera Velutini’s bank, Herrera Velutini allegedly promised to donate to Wanda Vázquez Garced’s campaign for reelection as governor of Puerto Rico. Herrera Velutini allegedly provided help worth $300,000.
Because Britannia Financial Services, a business founded and partially owned by Herrera Velutini, has donated more than £500,000 to the Conservative party since 2019, the start of the proceedings in the US caused uproar in the UK. The allegations against the banker, according to Labour, should prompt the Tories to return the funds.
Herrera Velutini contests the allegations against him and maintains his innocence. The charges against him carry a possible 20-year prison sentence.
Fullbrook is engaged because, at the time, he was employed by CT, a political consulting firm started by Sir Lynton Crosby, a former general election campaign manager for several Tory leaders. For consulting services that would have aided Vazquez Garced in her reelection campaign, Herrera Velutini was paying CT.
The Sunday Times reported that Fullbrook, the project’s principal consultant, traveled to Puerto Rico in February 2020, six months before the election. The company created opinion research that was pertinent to the advertising.
Although Vázquez Garced did fire the financial regulator in February 2020, she still lost her reelection bid the same month. Herrera Velutini allegedly attempted to bribe her successor by promising funds in exchange for a favorable audit of his bank, according to the Department of Justice’s accusation.