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American charged in Haiti port project bribe scheme

An American businessman was charged Tuesday for his alleged role in a plot to bribe senior government officials in Haiti for access to a proposed $84 million port development project. 

Roger Richard Boncy, 74, a dual U.S. and Haitian citizen, planned to launder funds through a non-profit to pay the bribes, the DOJ said

Boncy, who lives in Madrid, was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Travel Act, one count of violating the Travel Act, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. 

A co-conspirator, Joseph Baptiste, was charged in October 2017. 

The DOJ said Boncy and Baptiste solicited bribes from undercover agents posing as potential investors in a proposed port development project in the Mȏle St. Nicolas area of Haiti. 

Agents recorded Boncy and Baptiste in a Boston hotel. They allegedly told the agents they would route payments through a non-profit controlled by Baptiste to Haitian officials to secure approval for the port project. 

The Maryland-based non-profit was purportedly set up to help impoverished residents of Haiti.

The DOJ also intercepted telephone calls between Boncy and Baptiste. They allegedly discussed a plan to bribe an aide to a high-level elected official in Haiti with a job on the port development project.

The aide was expected to help them obtain the elected official’s authorization for the project. 

The $84 million Mȏle St. Nicolas project included “construction of multiple cement factories, a shipping-vessel recycling station, an international transshipment station with numerous slips for shipping vessels, a power plant, a petroleum depot and tourist facilities,” the DOJ said. 

Baptiste’s trial is scheduled to begin on December 3 in Boston. 

The indictment filed October 30, 2018 in U.S. v Baptiste and Boncy is here (pdf). 


Harry Cassin is the managing editor of the FCPA Blog.

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  1. Brings back memories of the Kay case…

  2. As a Haitian American living here in state, I have to say about time that the DOJ bring try to help Haiti with some these corruption going on. Some of these people should jailed for life to what they have been doing in Haiti. Corruptions everywhere and the Government official are the worst, while the get rich and fat, is the people of Haiti that have been paying to this mess. Can't wait to see what the DOJ is going to do about the most recent corruption probe going on Haiti about the PETRO CARIBIN money. I would also love to see the DOJ, look into the funds that the Red Cross, Clinton Foundation raised after the 2010 earthquake that these organization told. Please,Haiti need all help they can get.

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