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Haiti Telco Official Pleads Guilty

A former director of state-owned Telecommunications D’Haiti accused of accepting bribes has pleaded guilty in Miami to conspiracy to launder money.

Patrick Joseph, 46, agreed to cooperate with the DOJ in exchange for consideration of a lighter sentence. He faces up to twenty years in prison and already agreed to forfeit $955,000 as part of his plea.

No sentencing date was set.

He appeared Wednesday in federal court before Judge Jose E. Martinez.

In October last year, Judge Martinez sentenced two other defendants in the massive case to long jail terms. Joel Esquenazi, 52, the former president of Terra Telecommunications Corp., received a fifteen year prison term. Carlos Rodriguez, 55, the former executive vice president of Terra, was given an 84-month sentence. They were convicted of multiple FCPA and money laundering counts.

Download a copy of the plea agreement in US v. Patrick Joseph here.

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Four other individuals have been convicted and sentenced for their roles in the Haiti telco case.

In 2009, Antonio Perez, a former controller at Terra, and Juan Diaz, the president of J.D. Locator Services, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering. Last year Perez was sentenced to 24 months in prison and Diaz to 57 months. Both are now serving their jail terms.

In February last year, Jean Fourcand, the president and director of Fourcand Enterprises Inc., 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 last year, Robert Antoine, a former director of international affairs for Haiti Telco, 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, which he's now serving.

Other defendants indicted in the case are Washington Vasconez Cruz, Amadeus Richers, Cinergy Telecommunications Inc., Patrick Joseph, Jean Rene Duperval, and Marguerite Grandison. They're charged in a related scheme to commit foreign bribery and money laundering from 2001 through 2006.

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