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Duperval Jailed For Nine Years

Jean Rene Duperval, a Haitian official at the center of the DOJ’s sprawling Haiti Telco prosecution, was sentenced Monday to nine years in prison for money laundering.

Duperval, 45, was a director of international relations for state-owned Telecommunications D’Haiti S.A.M. (Haiti Telco).

He was convicted in March 2012 by a federal jury in Miami of two counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and nineteen counts of money laundering. The DOJ said Monday he’s been in custody since his conviction.

 He was also ordered to forfeit $497,331.

The DOJ said Duperval laundered bribes he took from two Miami-based telecommunications companies.

The FCPA can’t be used to prosecute bribe takers. It only applies to those who pay bribes to ‘foreign officials’ to obtain or retain business or gain an unfair advantage.

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Duperval was the seventh defendant sentenced to prison in the Haiti Telco bribery scheme.

Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, former top executives of one of the Florida-based telco companies, were convicted last year by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and wire fraud, seven counts of FCPA violations, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and twelve counts of money laundering.

Esquenazi was sentenced to fifteen years in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed in a case involving the FCPA. Rodriguez was sentenced to seven years in prison. Both are now serving their sentences but have appealed their convictions. They’re arguing on appeal, among other things, that Telecommunications D’Haiti isn’t an ‘instrumentality’ of the Haitian government under the FCPA so its employees, including Duperval, aren’t ‘foreign officials.’ The FCPA prohibits payments to foreign officials but doesn’t outlaw private overseas bribery.

Antonio Perez, a former controller at one of the Miami-based telco companies, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering. In 2010, he was sentenced to two years in prison.

Juan Diaz, the president of J.D. Locator Services, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and money laundering. He admitted taking more than $1 million in bribe money from the Florida telco companies.  In 2010, he was sentenced to fifty-seven months in prison.

Jean Fourcand, the president and director of Fourcand Enterprises Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering for receiving and transmitting bribe money. In 2010, he was sentenced to six months in prison.

And Robert Antoine, a former director of international affairs for Haiti Telco, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He admitted to receiving more than $1 million in bribes from the Florida telcos. In 2010, he was sentenced to four years in prison.

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The DOJ said Monday that three defendants indicted in the case are fugitives. Washington Vasconez Cruz and his wife, Cecilia Zurita, along with Amadeus Richers, were charged ‘in a related scheme to commit foreign bribery and money laundering from December 2001 through January 2006,’ the DOJ said.

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