Former Haitian Official Claims he Isn’t a ‘Foreign Official’ - Corruption Currents - WSJ


A former Haitian official says in court papers he isn’t really an official.

No, it’s not an Abbott & Costello routine. It’s the latest twist in a case that led to one co-defendant getting the longest U.S. foreign-bribery sentence in history.

Jean Rene Duperval, a former director of international relations for Haiti’s state-owned telecommunications company, was sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in laundering bribes from Florida telecoms. Duperval was convicted of 19 counts of money laundering and two counts of money laundering conspiracy.

His lawyers filed notice in June that he intends to appeal.

In the appeal, filed earlier this week at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Duperval argued, among other things, that prosecutors failed to prove the state-owned telecom, known as Haiti Teleco, is a government instrumentality and, in turn, he is a foreign official, as is required to convict him for laundering money related to the proceeds of a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.