Judge Imposes 15-Year Sentence in FCPA Case; Appeal to Follow

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A U.S. district judge in the Southern District of Florida recently sentenced Joel Esquenazi, the former president of Terra Telecommunications Corporation, to 15 years in prison – the longest prison term ever handed down in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecution. Previously, the longest sentence ever handed down for an FCPA conviction was just over seven years.

Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, the former vice president of Terra, were convicted in August for their roles in a scheme to bribe officials of Haiti Teleco, the sole provider of land line telephone service in the country. The defendants paid more than $890,000 from November 2001 to August 2005 to shell companies to be used for bribes for Haiti Teleco officials. Four other individuals have also been convicted and sentenced for their roles in this case.

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