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Telecom executive pleads guilty in connection with Haitian bribery scheme

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Staff Writer |
Haiti Teleco
Communications   FCPA Charge

The former general manager of a Miami-based telecommunications company pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to pay $3 million in bribes to various Haitian officials to secure a lucrative contract with Telecommunications D’Haiti (Haiti Teleco), the state-owned and state-controlled telecommunications company in Haiti.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg of the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Kelly R. Jackson of Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Miami Field Office made the announcement.

Amadeus Richers of Brazil, pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to count one of a second superseding indictment charging him with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

According to admissions in the plea documents, beginning in 2001 and lasting until 2004, Richers and his co-conspirators paid roughly $3 million in bribes directly and indirectly to foreign officials employed by Haiti Teleco and to a foreign official in the executive branch of the Haitian government in order to secure a favorable contract and favorable treatment in connection with that contract from Haiti Teleco.

The co-conspirators funneled some of the money through third-party intermediaries and paid other money directly to officials or relatives of officials, Richers admitted.

Richers is the ninth defendant to have pled guilty or to have been convicted at trial in this case.

On April 27, 2009, Antonio Perez, a former controller at one of the Miami-based telecommunications companies, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering.

On May 15, 2009, Juan Diaz, the president of J.D. Locator Services, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering.

On Feb. 19, 2010, Jean Fourcand, the president and director of Fourcand Enterprises Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering for receiving and transmitting bribe monies in the scheme.

On March 12, 2010, Robert Antoine, a former director of international affairs for Haiti Teleco, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

On Aug. 4, 2011, Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, who were the former president and vice-president, respectively, of one of the telecommunications companies, were convicted by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and wire fraud, seven counts of FCPA violations, one count of money laundering conspiracy and 12 counts of money laundering.

On Feb. 8, 2012, Patrick Joseph, a former executive director of Haiti Teleco, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

On March 12, 2012, Jean Rene Duperval, a former director of international relations for Haiti Teleco, was convicted by a federal jury of two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 19 counts of money laundering.

Richers was indicted on July 12, 2011, but remained a fugitive until his arrest and ultimately his extradition from Panama on February 23. Richers will be sentenced on September 20.

The Department of Justice is grateful to the government of Haiti for continuing to provide substantial assistance in gathering evidence during this investigation.


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