As detailed in a previous blog post, a federal jury convicted Joel Esquinazi and Carlos Rodriguez, two former executives of Terra Telecommunications Corp. (“Terra”), earlier this year on all counts for their roles in a scheme to pay bribes to Haitian government officials at the state-owned Telecommunications D’Haiti S.A.M (Haiti Teleco).
Federal District Judge Jose E. Martinez has passed sentence and, in the process, has set a new sentencing record for an FCPA-related offense; Defendant Esquinazi was sentenced to a record-shattering 15-year prison term, eclipsing the previous 7.25-year record set with the sentencing of Charles Jumet in April 2010. Co-defendant Rodriguez received a seven-year sentence. The defendants must also forfeit $3.09 million to the government.
Taken together with the previously-discussed failed foreign-official challenge in this case, the enormity of the sentences imposed, particularly Esquinazi’s, will almost inevitably give rise to an appeal to the Eleventh Circuit in the coming months.