Former Gov't Official Gets 9 Years Accepting Telecom Bribes
- Wednesday, May 23, 2012 4:56 PM
MIAMI, USA (defend.ht) - The former director of international relations for the former Haitian government telecommunications company, Teleco, was sentenced to nine years in federal prison on Monday for accepting $500,000 [US] in exchange for preferable treatment to certain telecommunication companies.
Jean Rene Duperval, 45, worked as the director of international relations for 8 months from 2003-2004. During this time he had allowed a network to engage in international calls against the interests of Teleco whose long-distance telephone service was systematically under-billed.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Koukios said in an Associated Press report that Duperval's crimes were notable because he came from a prominent Haitian family with access to wealth and advantage. He was appointed to the Haiti Teleco position in 2003 by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
"This is a person who didn't have to steal. He didn't have to take that money. But he did," Koukios said. "That was money for the people of Haiti. It wasn't for Mr. Duperval."
Duperval, who used the bribe money for personal expenses such as mortgage payments and children's education costs, also was ordered to forfeit more than $433,000 in assets. He did not speak at Monday's hearing but his wife, Ingrid Duperval, asked for mercy. Duperval, has three children and a home in Miramar, Florida, USA.
"He is the best father, the best son, the best husband, any woman could dream to have," she said.
Eight other suspects, former Haitian officials and American contractors, were convicted of corruption and money laundering in connection with the application of a federal instrument known in the United States as the law against corrupt practices abroad.
Former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was also splattered in this case which was for many the cause of the failure of the Teleco.
However, relatives of the former Haitian leader categorically reject the accusations against him.
Related 03.07.2012: Haiti: Former Bank Governor Venel Joseph Murdered
Related 03.05.2012: Haiti: Former President Aristide Implicated in U.S. Corruption Investigation
Related 10.27.2011: U.S. Exec Receives Record 15 Year Prison Sentence for Bribing Haitian Officials
Related 08.05.2011: Two U.S. Executives Found Guilty for Bribing Haiti's Teleco
Source: Radio Kiskeya, AP