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Harry Cassin
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Eric Carlson
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FCPA fugitive arrested in Haiti Telco case

A former director of a Florida-based telecommunications company who allegedly bribed officials in Haiti was arrested in February and made an initial court appearance in Miami.

Amadeus Richer appeared in federal court on February 24. He had been considered a fugitive since his indictment in July 2011.

He faces one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud, six counts of FCPA violations, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and 19 counts of money laundering.

Richers, now 65, lived in Pembroke Pines, Florida and in Brazil, according to the indictment. He was formerly a director of Cinergy Telecommunications Inc. and its related company, Uniplex Telecommunications Inc.

The indictment alleged that Cinergy and Uniplex paid more than $1.4 million to shell companies to bribe officials at state-owned Telecommunications D’Haiti.

Richer is set to be arraigned on March 8.

In October 2011, Joel Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in the Haiti Telco bribery case. That’s still the longest FCPA-related prison sentence.

His co-defendant Carlos Rodriguez was given an 84-month sentence.

They were also ordered to forfeit $3.09 million.

Esquenazi and Rodriguez were convicted by a jury in Miami of one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and wire fraud, seven substantive FCPA counts, one count of money laundering conspiracy, and 12 counts of money laundering.

Four other individuals pleaded guilty and were sentenced for their roles in the Haiti Telco case.

In 2009, Antonio Perez and Juan Diaz 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.

In 2010, Jean Fourcand 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 in 2010, 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.

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

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1 Comment

  1. HELP!

    Who can explain the severity of sentencing in this case relative to other FCPA prosecutions – including the Mexican aviation case reported in the same issue of the FCPA blog?

    The bribes paid in the Haiti Telco case were much smaller than those reported in many other cases where culpable individuals were let off with probation or short prison stays.

    A "hanging judge"? Defendants who didn't hire former DOJ prosecutors out of Washington DC to defend them?

    Sentences that are as big a lottery as the risk of apprehension don't promote compliance, nor generate confidence in the effective and fair application of the FCPA.

    If ever there were a context that argued for minimum sentencing, it is the FCPA – these are by definition crimes committed with intent and planning beforehand and effort to cover up afterward.


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