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Long Jail Term In Haiti Bribes Case

Juan Diaz, a Miami businessman at the center of the Haiti telco bribery case, was sentenced Friday to 57 months in prison. He pleaded guilty in May 2009 to a one-count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering.

Diaz, 52, was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term and to forfeit $1,028,851 and pay $73,824 in restitution.

He’s the third man to be sentenced in the case. In June, Robert Antoine, 62, an employee of Haiti’s state-owned national telecommunications company, Telecommunications D’Haiti, was sentenced to 48 months in prison.  The resident of Miami and Haiti had pleaded guilty in March this year to conspiracy to commit money laundering. He admitted accepting bribes from Diaz and others.

Diaz said in his plea that he bribed Haiti telco officials with about a million dollars on behalf of three different Miami-Dade County telecommunications companies. He concealed the payments by laundering money through his company, J.D. Locator Services.

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

Antonio Perez, 52, the controller of one of the Miami telcos, pleaded guilty in April 2009 to a one count criminal information charging him with conspiring to violate the FCPA and money laundering. He’s still waiting to be sentenced. 

Four other individuals are scheduled to go on trial in the case in December 2010. Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez were the owners of one of the Florida-based telcos; Jean Rene Duperval was director of international relations of Telecommunications D’Haiti; and Duperval’s sister, Marguerite Grandison, was also allegedly part of the scheme. They were indicted with Antoine in December 2009.

As the Justice Department says, an indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Diaz is scheduled to begin serving his prison term on January 4, 2011. A copy of the minutes of his judgement and sentence can be downloaded here. (We’ll post his plea agreement when it’s released.)

A copy of the Justice Department’s July 30, 2010 news release is here.

Download a copy of Robert Antoine’s February 19, 2010 plea agreement (entered March 12, 2010) here.

Download a copy of Antoine’s factual statement in connection with his guilty plea here.

Download a copy of the criminal information in U.S. v. Fourcand here.

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

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

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