Former Telecom Exec Admits to Bribing Haitian Officials

(CN) – The former general manager of a telecommunications company in Miami pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, admitting to a role in a bribery scheme aimed at locking down a contract with the state-owned telecommunications company in Haiti.

In a Wednesday statement announcing the plea, the U.S. Justice Department said that from 2001 through 2004, 66-year-old Amadeus Richers of Brazil and his co-conspirators paid $3 million in bribes to several Haitian officials from Telecommunications D’Haiti aka Haiti Teleco and one official in Haiti’s executive branch to secure a lucrative contract with the company.

Prosecutors say Richers admitted that he and his co-conspirators “funneled some of the money through third-party intermediaries and paid other money directly to officials or relatives of officials.”

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Richers is the ninth defendant that has pleaded guilty or has been convicted at trial in the case, the government says.

He was indicted on July 12, 2011, but remained a fugitive until his arrest and extradition from Panama in February of this year, according to the Justice Department.

He will be sentenced on Sept. 20.

The Justice Department said the governments of Haiti and Panama helped gather evidence during the investigation.

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