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FCPA Blog Daily News

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Thursday
Jul202017

Former FCPA fugitive pleads guilty in Haiti Teleco case

The former general manager of a Miami-based firm pleaded guilty Wednesday to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by conspiring to pay $3 million in bribes to win a contract from Haiti's state-owned telecommunications company.

Amadeus Richers, 66, of Brazil, pleaded guilty in federal court in Miami to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

Richers is the ninth defendant to plead guilty or be convicted at trial in the case. 

He admitted that from 2001 until 2004, he and his co-conspirators paid $3 million in bribes to officials at Telecommunications D’Haiti (Haiti Teleco).

The defendants funneled bribes through relatives or other intermediaries. They also paid some officials directly.

Richers was indicted in July 2011. He was a fugitive until his extradition from Panama in February this year.

His sentencing is set for September 20.

In 2011, Joel Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the Haiti Teleco case. That's still the longest FCPA-related prison sentence.

His co-defendant Carlos Rodriguez was given an 84-month prison sentence.

They were also ordered to forfeit $3.09 million.

Esquenazi and Rodriguez were convicted by a jury in Miami of one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and wire fraud, seven substantive FCPA counts, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and 12 counts of money laundering.

They argued that officers and employees of state-owned enterprises such as Haiti Teleco aren't "foreign officials" under the FCPA.

The trial judge denied their challenge, as did the federal appeals court. In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider their appeal.

Six other individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in the Haiti Teleco case.

In 2009, Antonio Perez and Juan Diaz pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering. Perez was sentenced to 24 months in prison and Diaz to 57 months.

In 2010, Jean Fourcand pleaded guilty in the case to one count of money laundering for receiving and transmitting bribes. He was sentenced to six months in prison.

Also in 2010, Robert Antoine, a former director of international affairs for Haiti Teleco, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He admitted taking more than $1 million in bribes from Miami-based telecommunications companies. He was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

In 2012, Patrick Joseph, a former executive director of Haiti Teleco, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

Also in 2012, Jean Rene Duperval, a former director of international relations for Haiti Teleco, was sentenced to nine years in prison A federal jury in Miami convicted him of two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 19 counts of money laundering.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.