Howard Jonas troubled telecommunications company IDT focuses on everything from oil shale to prepaid calling cards. But this week IDT has been paying particular attention to events in a Miami, Florida courthouse.
On Monday Jean Rene Duperval, former director of international relations at Haitis state-owned telecommunications monopoly, made an appearance there after the Haitian national police arrested him over the weekend and shipped him to the U.S. The U.S. government charged Duperval with several counts of money laundering related to a bribery probe of telecommunications deals done in Jean-Bertrand Aristides Haiti.
The feds accuse Duperval of participating in a scheme that saw a Miami telecom outfit pay more than $800,000 to shell companies used to pay bribes to Haitian government officials connected to Haiti Teleco. In return, the U.S. government alleges the Miami firm got preferred telecommunications rates, reducing the number of minutes for which payment was owed, and a variety of other credits. Duperval was indicted along with two executives of the Miami firm, who were charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Why does IDT ? Duperval signed a carrier service agreement with the Newark, N.J.-based company while working as director of international relations at Telecommunications DHaiti, or Haiti Teleco. That agreement was filed by IDT with the Federal Communications Commission in 2007, and the FCC later slapped IDT with a $1.3 million notice for having earlier repeatedly failed to file the contract. The FCC and IDT entered into a consent decree last year on the issue that saw IDT pay $400,000.
[continued] Will Bribery Probe Hit IDT?.