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Two-Year Prison Sentence In Haiti Telco Case

A fourth man was given a jail term today for bribing Haitian officials on behalf of U.S.-based telecommunications companies.

Antonio Perez, 52, of Miami was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit $36,375. He pleaded guilty in April 2009 to conspiring to making corrupt payments to officials of Haiti’s state-owned national telecommunications company, Telecommunications D’Haiti, in violation of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering laws. Employees of overseas state-owned companies are considered to be "foreign officials" under the FCPA.

Perez, the controller of a Florida telecommunications company, conspired with Robert Antoine, the former director of international relations for Telecommunications D’Haiti and Juan Diaz, the owner of J.D. Locator Services, along with others, according to the DOJ. Perez admitted being "personally involved with two bribe payments totaling approximately $36,375," the DOJ said.

In July 2010, Diaz was sentenced to 57 months in prison after pleading guilty to paying and concealing $1,028,851 in bribes to former Haitian government officials while serving as an intermediary for three private telecommunications companies. Antoine admitted accepting bribes and pleaded guilty in March last year to money laundering conspiracy. He was sentenced to four years in prison.

Some of the bribe money was also laundered by Jean Fourcand, 62, who pleaded guilty in February 2010 to money laundering. He was sentenced to six months in prison.

Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, the owners of the telco company where Perez worked, as well as Jean Rene Duperval, who was director of international relations for Telecommunications D’Haiti in 2003 and 2004, and Duperval’s sister, Marguerite Grandison, were indicted along with Antoine, in December 2009. Their trial is scheduled to start on February 28 in Miami. They are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


View the DOJ's January 21, 2011 release here.

Download a copy of the plea agreement in U.S. v. Antonio Perez here.

Download a copy of the indictment in U.S. v. Esquenazi et al here.

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