Florida Company Pleads Guilty to Violating FCPA in Connection With Bribes in Honduras and Yemen
The Justice Department announced today that Latin Node Inc. (Latinode), a privately held Florida telecommunications company, pleaded guilty today to a one-count information charging that the company violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act's anti-bribery provisions. As part of the plea agreement, Latinode agreed to pay a $2 million fine over a three-year period.
Latinode is a provider of wholesale telecommunications services using Internet protocol technology countries throughout the world, including Honduras and Yemen. Latinode admitted that from approximately March 2004 through June 2007, it paid approximately $1,099,889 in payments to third parties, knowing that some or all of those funds would be passed on as bribes to officials of Hondutel, the Honduran state-owned telecommunications company.
In addition, from in 2005 and 2006, Latinode allegedly made 17 payments totaling approximately $1,150,654 either directly to Yemeni officials or to a third-party consultant with the knowledge that some or all of the money would be passed on to Yemeni officials in exchange for favorable interconnection rates in Yemen. Each of those payments was made from Latinode’s Miami bank account. According to court documents, company e-mails indicate that the intended payment recipients included, but were not limited to, the son of the Yemeni president; the vice president of operations at TeleYemen, the Yemeni government-owned telecommunications company; other officials of TeleYemen; and officials from the Yemeni Ministry of Telecommunications.
Latinode’s parent company, eLandia International Inc., voluntarily disclosed the potential FCPA violations to the Justice Department after it acquired Latinode.