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U.S. v. Washington Vasconez Cruz, Amadeus Richers, Cinergy Telecommunications, Inc., Patrick Joseph, Jean Rene Duperval and Marguerite Grandison

 
:
Cinergy Telecommunications, Inc.
:
DOJ Criminal
:
July 13, 2011
:
U.S. v. Washington Vasconez Cruz, Amadeus Richers, Cinergy Telecommunications, Inc., Patrick Joseph, Jean Rene Duperval and Marguerite Grandison
:
U.S. v. Cruz, et al., No. 1:09-cr-21010 (S.D. Fla. 2011)
:
Both sides of the alleged bribe, the offerors and the government officials, were charged using different statutes.
:
Telecommunications-Other/Multi
:
Haiti
:
2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006
:
Officials at Telecommunications D'Haiti.
:
According to the superseding indictment, the defendants allegedly participated in a scheme to commit foreign bribery and money laundering from December 2001 through January 2006. The indictment alleges that during this time period Cinergy and its related company, Uniplex Telecommunications Inc., allegedly paid more than $1.4 million to shell companies to be used for bribes to foreign officials of the Republic of Haiti’s state-owned national telecommunications company, Telecommunications D’Haiti (Haiti Teleco).

According to court documents, Cinergy and Uniplex executed a series of contracts with Haiti Teleco that allowed the companies’ customers to place telephone calls to Haiti. The bribe payments allegedly were authorized by Washington Vasconez Cruz, the telecommunications companies’ president, and Amadeus Richers, the companies’ director, and were allegedly paid to Haitian government officials at Haiti Teleco, including Patrick Joseph and Jean Rene Duperval. According to the superseding indictment, the purpose of these bribes was to obtain various business advantages from the Haitian officials for Cinergy and Uniplex, including preferred telecommunications rates and credits toward sums owed. To conceal the bribe payments, the defendants allegedly used various shell companies to receive and forward the payments, including J.D. Locator Services, Fourcand Enterprises and Telecom Consulting Services.

Duperval was charged previously in the indictment returned on Dec. 7, 2009, with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 12 counts of money laundering. Grandison was previously charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of FCPA violations, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and 12 counts of money laundering.

After a 2.5 week trial, Esquenazi and Rodriguez were both convicted on August 5, 2011. On October 25, 2011, Esquenazi was sentenced to 15 years in prison, the longest sentence ever imposed in a case involving violations of the FCPA. Rodriguez was sentenced to 84 months. The defendants were also ordered to forfeit $3.09 million.

On February 24, 2012, the government moved to dismiss the case against Cinergy because Cinergy is "a non-operational entity that exists only on paper for the benefit of two fugitive defendants."

Duperval's trial began on March 1, 2012. On March 12, 2012, the jury convicted Duperval on all counts. On May 21, 2012, Duperval was sentenced to 9 years in prison. His appeal is pending. The case against Grandison was closed after she agreed to enter into an 18-month diversion program.
:
Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
:
Conspiracy - Money Laundering, Money Laundering
:
Not stated.
:
0
:
Domestic Concern
:
U.S.
:
United States
:
Contract Procurement/Retention, Other Business Advantage
:
1,686,610
:
Cash, Wire/check
:
Customs Broker or Agent/Consultant, Shell entity
:
1,427,000
:
Haiti
:
United States
:
No
:
No