News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Fri. July 15, 2011: A Miami-Dade County company has been charged with bribery in the Haiti Teleco scandal.

U.S. prosecutors say Florida’s Cinergy Telecommunications Inc., its president and director, the president of Florida-based Telecom Consulting Services Corp. and two former Haitian government officials were involved in foreign bribery.

It is alleged they paid more than $1.4 million to shell companies to be used for bribes to officials at Haiti’s state-owned from 2001 through 2006.

The bribe payments allegedly were authorized by Washington Vasconez Cruz, the telecommunications companies’ president, and Amadeus Richers, the companies’ director, and were allegedly paid to Haitian government officials at Haiti Teleco, including Patrick Joseph and Jean Rene Duperval.

The superseding indictment said the purpose of the alleged bribes was to obtain various business advantages from the Haitian officials for Cinergy and Uniplex, including preferred telecommunications rates and credits toward sums owed. To conceal the bribe payments, the defendants allegedly used various shell companies to receive and forward the payments, including J.D. Locator Services, Fourcand Enterprises and Telecom Consulting Services, the department said.

One of the officials pleaded guilty last year to receiving more than $1 million in bribes and was sentenced to 48 months in prison. A superseding indictment filed Wednesday in federal court adds charges against the other.

A third former Haiti Teleco official also has been charged. If convicted, the defendants would face penalties of up to five years in prison and fines of up to $500,000 on each count.

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