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« Debarment Talk From The ADB | Main | These Bribes Go Up In Smoke »
Tuesday
Mar132012

Duperval Convicted In Haiti Telco Trial

A federal jury in Miami convicted a former director of Telecommunications D’Haiti S.A.M. (Haiti Telco) on all counts yesterday.

Jean Rene Duperval, 45, of Miramar, Florida, was found guilty on two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 19 counts of money laundering. The laundered funds, the DOJ said, were the proceeds of violations of the FCPA, Haitian antibribery law, and the U.S. wire fraud statute.

The jury reached its verdict late yesterday after less than three hours of deliberations following a week-long trial.

Duperval served as a director of international relations at the state-owned Haiti Telco.

From 2003 to 2006, the DOJ said, about $500,000 in bribes passed from two Miami-area telecommunications companies, through two shell companies, then to Duperval.  

The Miami companies and their executives created false documents claiming the payments were for 'consulting services' or for 'international minutes from USA to Haiti.'  The money was then disbursed from the shell companies to Duperval and his family. He falsely characterized the payments as 'commissions' and 'payroll.'

Duperval is in federal custody. His sentencing is scheduled for May 21. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the 19 conspiracy and substantive money laundering counts. He could also be fined $500,000 on each count. The DOJ is seeking forfeiture.

Here's a rundown of other defendants in the Haiti Telco case:

Antonio Perez pleaded guilty in April 2009 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering. The former controller at one of the Miami-based telco companies was sentenced to 24 months in prison in January 2010. He's still serving his sentence.

Juan Diaz pleaded guilty in May 2009 to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering. The president of J.D. Locator Services admitted handling more than $1 million in bribe money from the Miami telecommunications companies. He was sentenced in July 2010 to 57 months in prison, which he's now  serving.

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

Robert Antoine pleaded guilty in March 2010 to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Like Duperval, he was also a director of international affairs for Haiti Telco. He admitted taking more than $1 million in bribes from the Miami-based telecommunications companies. On June 2, 2010, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison, which he's now serving.

Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez were convicted in August 2011 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. In October last year, Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the longest sentence ever in an FCPA-related case. Rodriguez was sentenced to 84 months in prison. They once ran one of the Miami telco companies that paid the bribes. Both are currently serving their sentences.

Patrick Joseph, a former director of Haiti Telco, pleased guilty in February this year to conspiracy to launder money. He agreed to forfeit $955,000 as part of his plea. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years. A date for sentencing hasn't been set.

Still facing FCPA and money laundering charges in the case are Washington Vasconez Cruz, Amadeus Richers, and Cecilia Zurita. All three are fugitives.  

_______________

The DOJ's March 13, 2012 release is here.

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