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Six guilty pleas, four for FCPA offenses, in Mexico bribe scheme

Four Texas-based businessmen have admitted bribing Mexican officials in return for aircraft maintenance and repair contracts with government-owned and controlled entities.

Two former Mexican officials who took bribes also pleaded guilty to a money-laundering conspiracy. One was sentenced to prison for 15 months.

The other defendants are waiting to be sentenced.

The DOJ unsealed the charges and guilty pleas Tuesday. 

The four businessmen charged with FCPA offenses were:

  • Douglas Ray, 55, of Magnolia, Texas. He pleaded guilty on October 28 to conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
  • Victor Hugo Valdez Pinon, 54, a citizen of Mexico. He pleaded guilty on October 26 to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
  • Kamta Ramnarine, 69, of Brownsville, Texas, pleaded guilty on November 2 to conspiracy to violate the FCPA.
  • Daniel Perez, 69, of Brownsville, Texas, pleaded guilty on November 2 to conspiracy to violate the FCPA.

They appeared in federal court in the Southern District of Texas.

Ray and Valdez Pinon are scheduled to be sentenced on February 23.

Ramnarine and Perez are scheduled to be sentenced on January 30.

Also pleading guilty in the scheme were two former Mexican government officials. They are Ernesto Hernandez Montemayor, 55, and Ramiro Ascencio Nevarez, 58. The two Mexican citizens pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Nevarez pleaded guilty in federal court in Texas on March 4 and was sentenced to 15 months in prison on May 27. He admitted taking bribes from Ramnarine and Perez when he worked for a Mexican public university.

Montemayor pleaded guilty on December 9 and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 12. He took bribes from Ray, Ramnarine, Perez and others when he was director of aviation for the State of Tamaulipas. 

The four businessmen paid more than $2 million in bribes to at least seven different Mexican officials, including Montemayor and Nevarez. The bribes helped them win aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul contracts for their Brownsville-based company.

Some of the bribes were paid via wire transfer and checks to accounts in the United States controlled by the Mexican officials.

Nevarez also admitted he conspired with Ramnarine, Perez and others to launder the proceeds of the bribery scheme.


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