FCPA Enforcement: A Continued Focus On Individuals
Both the Department of Justice and the SEC have emphasized FCPA enforcement, bringing an increasing number of cases and obtaining record setting results. A key focus of FCPA enforcement has been the prosecution of individuals. Last week, two more individuals pled guilty to FCPA violations.
Juan Diaz and Antonio Perez pleaded guilty to FCPA violations on May 15, 2009 in connection with securing services from the Telecommunications D’Haiti. Specifically, Mr. Diaz pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to a foreign official in connection with securing business for three Florida based telecommunications companies. Mr. Perez also pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiring to make corrupt payments to a foreign official in connection with securing business for one of the three Florida based telecommunications companies. U.S. v. Diaz, Case No. 09-20345 (S.D. Fla. File April 22, 2009).
From November 2001 through October 2003, Mr. Diaz admitted that he and others used a shell company he controlled for the sole purpose of accepting bribes. The money paid to the shell company was then funneled out to Haitian government officials on behalf of the three Florida based telecommunication companies. In return, the three companies executed a series of contracts with Telecommunications D’Haiti, the state-owned national telecommunications company of Haiti. Under those contracts, the three companies obtained a variety of business advantages and their customers were able to place telephone calls to Haiti. Overall Mr. Diaz channeled over $1 million in bribes to former Haitian government officials. He also kept over $73,000 as commissions for laundering the bribes.
Mr. Perez was the controller of one of the telecommunications companies from March 1998 through January 2002. His company paid about $674,193 in bribes to Haitian officials. Mr. Perez admitted that he and Mr. Diaz conspired with the companies to make side payments through Mr. Diaz’s shell company. Mr. Perez admitted that he assisted in paying $36,375 worth of side payments through the shell company of Mr. Diaz.
Sentencing has not yet been scheduled for either defendant.