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SEC v. Yaw Osei Amoako

 
:
ITXC Corp. - Amoako, Yaw Osei
:
SEC Civil
:
September 1, 2005
:
SEC v. Yaw Osei Amoako
:
SEC v. Amoako, No. 05-4284 (D.N.J. 2007)
:
Telecommunications-Other/Multi
:
Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal
:
2001; 2002; 2003; 2004
:
Amoako paid $166,541 to a Nigerian official who worked as a Deputy General Manager of NITEL, a Nigerian telecommunications firm wholly owned by the Nigerian government. He also paid an unspecified Senegalese official $74,772, and unspecified Rwandan officials $26,155.
:
Yaw Osei Amoako settled this action with the SEC without admitting or denying the following facts alleged in the SEC's complaint:

Yaw Osei Amoako ("Amoako") consented to judgment on counts of bribing Nigerian, Rwandan, and Senegalese officials and falsifying his corporation's books and records by setting up agent contracts with government officials that paid the officials portions of the revenue from contracts in Nigeria, Rwanda, and Senegal, which he subsequently improperly recorded as legitimate business expenses. Amoako worked for ITXC Corporation ("ITXC"), a provider of Voice Over Internet Protocol telecommunication services, as its Regional Sales Manager for Africa. In 2002, after repeated failures, he succeeded in negotiating contracts between ITXC and NITEL, a telecommunications company wholly owned by the Nigerian government, to purchase and provide internet telephone services.

Amoako also contracted with Standard Digital International to assist him in developing contracts with NITEL. Standard Digital was a shell corporation for a Nigerian official. NITEL's General Director of International Relations signed the contract as Standard Digital's CEO. The Contract required ITXC to pay Standard Digital, i.e., the Nigerian official, a retainer fee of $10,000 and a commission of 12% of ITXC's profits from any contracts with NITEL or the Nigerian government.

Amoako paid the $10,000 retainer in two installments of $5,000 each by wiring the money from ITXC's New Jersey bank account to the Nigerian Official's bank account in Nigeria.

After failing to pay the official his commissions in 2003, Amoako agreed to pay the official $150,000 to settle a rate dispute with NITEL on favorable terms. Again, he wired the money to the official from ITXC's New Jersey bank account to the Official's bank account in Nigeria.

Finally, in 2004, Amoako wired a final payment of $6,541 to the official's bank account in Nigeria. In all, Amoako arranged for ITXC to deposit $166,541 in the Nigerian official's bank account. After making the payments, ITXC received a contract worth $1,136,618 in profits from Nitel. In 2004, Amoako also received a kickback of $50,000. Amoako also negotiated a contract with Rwandatel, a telecommunications company wholly owned by the Rwandan government. While negotiating the agreement Aowako offered to make the Rwandatel official participating in negotiations an ITXC agent. The Rwandatel official agreed and signed a contract that required ITXC to pay the official $0.01 per minute for all telephone traffic serviced by ITXC. Aowako then had ITXC wire more than $26,155 directly to the Rwandatel official's bank account in Dubai. After making the payments ITXC received a contract with $217,418 in profits from Rwandatel. In 2002, Amoako also negotiated a contract with Sonatel, a Senegalese telecommunications company partially owned by the Senegalese government and France Telecom. While negotiating the agreement Aowako offered to make a Sonatel employee an ITXC agent. The employee signed an agreement that required ITXC to pay him a comission on all sales in Senegal. ITXC wired over $74,772 to the employee over the course of 14 payments. After the payments, ITXC received a contract worth $10,155,696 in profits from Sonatel. From 2001-2003, Amoako embezzled $100,411 from ITXC in connection with the bribery scheme in Senegal by ordering ITXC wire transfers to an account in Cote D'Ivoire.

Amoako improperly recorded payments to all officials and to himself as legitimate business expenses.
Amoako also made similar offers to officials in Ghana and Mali in an effort to obtain contracts with Ghana Telecom and Sotelma, respectively, but never formally contracted or issued payments to officials in either country.
:
Anti-bribery (Issuer), Books and records (Individual), Books and records (Issuer)
:
Disgorgement, Injunction/Cease and desist
:
Amoako agreed to pay $188,453 as disgorgement of wrongfully-received profits and pre-judgment interest. $150,411 represented the profits gained as a result of his conduct, and $38,042 represented pre-judgment interest. Amoako agreed to disgorge in two installments: $94,226 within 20 days of entry of the Final Judgment and $94,227 within 180 days of the final judgment, plus post-judgment interest.
:
188,453
:
0
:
Employee of Issuer
:
Regional Sales
:
U.S.
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
11,509,733
:
Wire/check
:
Direct, Sales Agent/Consultant
:
269,468
:
Nigeria, Senegal
:
Nigeria, United States
:
No
:
No