Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Former Haiti Teleco Executive Sentenced For Money Laundering

Robert Antoine arrested December 9, 2009 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

A former official with Haiti’s state-owned national telecommunications company has been sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a money laundering conspiracy in connection with a foreign bribery scheme.

Robert Antoine, 62, of Miami and Haiti, also was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Jose E. Martinez to pay $1,852,209 in restitution and forfeit $1,580,771, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Antoine was director of international affairs for Haiti’s state-owned national telecommunications company, Telecommunications D’Haiti (Haiti Teleco), from May 2001 to April 200. In March, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering.

He previously admitted that he accepted bribes from three U.S. telecommunications companies and then laundered them through intermediary companies including J.D. Locator Services. That company’s president, Juan Diaz, pleaded guilty on May 15, 2009, to conspiracy to commit violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and money laundering, according to the news release.

According to court documents, Antoine admitted that a portion of the J.D. Locator funds were also laundered by Jean Fourcand of Fourcand Enterprises, who pleaded guilty in February to money laundering. He was sentenced to six months in prison for his involvement.

Others charged in the scheme were:

* Joel Esquenazi, 53, of Miami, former president of the telecommunications company.
* Carlos Rodriguez, 53, of Davie, former executive vice president of the telecommunications company.
* Jean Rene Duperval, 43, of Miramar and Haiti, former director of international relations for telecommunications at Haiti Teleco.
* Marguerite Grandison, 40, of Miramar, former president of Telecom Consulting Services Corp., and Duperval’s sister.

The trial for these remaining defendants is scheduled to begin July 19 in U.S. District Court in Miami.

Source: BizJournals

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