Settlements

ST-443
Direct Access Partners Global / Joseph DeMeneses (Managing Director)
Direct Access Partners (DAP) Global
United States
Department of Justice
Venezuela
2015
3/27
Unknown
Individual
Criminal
Guilty Plea
Criminal Forfeiture
$2,670,612
$0
$2,670,612
$0
$0
$0
NA
Art.16
Art. 1
Conspiracy to Bribe Foreign Officials, Travel Act
Conspiracy to Bribe Foreign Officials, Travel Act
Yes
According to the US Department of Justice, Benito Chinea, former chief executive officer and joseph DeMeneses, former managing director of a U.S. broker dealer Direct Access Partners Global ["Broker Dealer"]were sentenced in 2015 "for their roles in a scheme to pay bribes to a senior official in Venezuela’s state economic development bank, Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela (Bandes), in return for trading business that generated more than $60 million in commissions. [ ] [Chinea and DeMeneses] were each sentenced to four years in prison. They were also ordered to pay $3,636,432 and $2,670,612 in forfeiture, respectively, which amounts represent their earnings from the bribery scheme. On Dec. 17, 2014, both defendants pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Travel Act." According to the press release, it was alleged in the court documents that Chinea and DeMeneses, together with three Miami based employees participated in a bribery scheme that ran from late 2008 through 2012, in which Maria de los Angeles Gonzalez, a BANDES Vice President of Finance directed trading business to Direct Access Partners, and in return, agents and employees of DAP split the revenue that DAP generated from this trading business with Gonzalez. During this time period, DAP generated over $60 million in commissions from trades with BANDES. As further alleged in court documents, in order to conceal the scheme, payments to Gonzalez, frequently in six figure amounts, were routed through third parties posing as “foreign finders” and into offshore bank accounts. In several instances, Chinea personally signed checks worth millions of dollars that were made payable to one of these purported “foreign finders” and later deposited in a Swiss bank account. Chinea and DeMeneses admitted that they agreed to use DAP funds to reimburse DeMeneses and Clarke for the approximately $1.5 million from their personal funds they used to bribe Gonzalez. To conceal their true nature, Chinea and DeMeneses agreed to hide these reimbursements in DAP’s books as sham loans from DAP to DeMeneses and Clarke. (Source: US DOJ Press Release, "CEO and Managing Director Of US BrokerDealer Sentenced for International Bribery Scheme," March 27, 2015.) Please note that the date of Mr. Chinea and Mr. DeMeneses' sentencing is used as the settlement date in this entry.