Asset Recovery Watch

ARW-72
Haiti Teleco / Robert Antoine / Joel Esquenazi / Carlos Rodriguez / Juan Diaz
Haiti
Director of International Affairs, Haiti Teleco (2001-2003)
United States
Undertaking Recovery Effort, Location of Recovery Effort, Asset Location / Alleged Asset Location
2009
Ongoing
Art.16, Art.23
Yes
Criminal Prosecution and Forfeiture; Criminal Restitution
Unknown
Cooperation in investigation but mechanism unknown
Antonio Perez (Controller of the Bribe Giver company) pleaded guilty in April 2009 and named Mr. Antoine as a recipient of the bribes. Assistance provided by a number of Government of Haiti's investigative agencies was acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Justice. Source: U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, "Ex funcionario gubernamental de Haiti sentenciado a prision por su papel en conspiracion de lavado de dinero relacionada con ardid de soborno en el extranjero," June 2, 2010, posted at http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/June/10-crm-639-spanish.html.); Close and specific collaboration among the U.S. authorities and Haitian authorities such as the financial intelligence unit, national police and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Source: StAR Asset Recovery Handbook (December 2010), "Box 9.5 Important Role of the Jurisdiction Harmed by Corruption -- A Case Example from Haiti," at 183.)
Ongoing
Final Judgment (No Appeal)
Ongoing
NA

$1,852,209.39 in restitution was ordered as part of Mr. Antoine's judgment in a criminal case heard in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. A discussion between the U.S. and Haitian authorities regarding the sharing of the proceeds is ongoing, as of December 2010. (Source: StAR Asset Recovery Handbook (December 2010), "Box 9.5 Important Role of the Jurisdiction Harmed by Corruption -- A Case Example from Haiti," at 183. The judgment in Mr. Antoine's case noted "see victims list" but this was not available through Pacer.) In its press release, the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledged the assistance by various agencies of the Government of Haiti in the investigation. (Sources: U.S. v. Joel Esquenazi, Carlos Rodriguez, Robert Antoine, Jean Rene Duperval and Marguerite Grandison, Case No. 09-CR-21010-JEM (S.D. Fla.), Indictment filed December 4, 2009; U.S. v. Robert Antoine, et al, Case No. 1:09-21010-CR-MARTINEZ-3 (S.D. Fla.), Order of Forfeiture filed on June 2, 2010; U.S. v. Robert Antoine, Case No. 1:09-21010-CR-MARTINEZ-3 (S.D. Fla.), Judgment in a Criminal Case, filed on June 9, 2010.) On November 3, 2011, Mr. Esquenazi and Mr. Rodriguez were sentenced to pay $2.2 million in restitution (joint and several liability with one another and with their other co-defendants Antoine Perez and Jean Fourcand) in the same case. (US v. Esquenazi and U.S. v. Rodriguez, Case No. 09-cr-21020-JEM (S.D. Fla.), Amended Judgment in a Criminal Case filed November 3, 2011.) On August 4, 2010, Juan Diaz, a defendant in a related case, was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $73,824.20 to the Government of Haiti. (US v. Diaz, Case No. 09-cr-20346-JEM (S.D. Fla.), Judgment in a criminal case and sentencing hearing transcript, both filed August 5, 2010.)

According to the U.S. Department of Justice press release, Mr. Antoine pleaded guilty on March 12, 2010, to conspiracy to commit money laundering. (Source: U.S. Department of Justice Press Release, " Former Haitian Government Official Sentenced to Prison for His Role in Money Laundering Conspiracy Related to Foreign Bribery Scheme," June 2, 2010.)

Haiti’s financial intelligence unit, the Unite Centrale de Renseignements Financiers (UCREF), the Bureau des Affaires Financieres et Economiques (BAFE), which is a specialized component of the Haitian National Police, and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security
NA
NA
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations - Miami Field Office
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida