Enforcement Action

 

Docket or Case Number:    17-cr-10305

Court:    D. Massachusetts

Initiation Date:    08/28/2017  Information

Prosecuting Agency:    US Department of Justice

Name of Prosecuting Attorneys:   

  • Kevin R. Gingras, Trial Attorney, Fraud Section, Criminal Division
  • Stephen E. Frank, Assistant United States Attorney

Assisting Agencies:    Federal Bureau of Investigation

Type of Action:    DOJ Criminal Proceeding

Origin of the Proceeding:    Undercover operation

Whistleblower:    Unknown

Case Status:    Ongoing


Summary

Joseph Baptiste was a retired colonel in the U.S. Army and a practicing dentist in Maryland. He served as the president of a non-profit organization with the stated mission of helping the impoverished in Haiti. The entity is simply referred to as he "Maryland Non-Profit 1" in the complaint, but further research indicates that the non-profit was likely the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians. Baptiste also served as a director on the board of an unnamed limited liability company, which the complaint called "Company A." The mission of Company A was to promote a port development in Haiti.

In about August 2014, the FBI began investigating certain Haitian-American businessmen who were allegedly offering to facilitate bribes to high-level officials in the Haitian government in exchange for business. In November 2014, an undercover agent of the FBI, who purported to be a potential investor in infrastructure projects in Haiti, was introduced to Baptiste. During an initial meeting between Baptiste and the undercover agent, Baptiste emphasized the importance of paying bribes to certain government officials in Haiti in order to make deals happen. Over the next year, Baptiste solicited $50,000 from the undercover agent, claiming that the money would be used to pay bribes to a high-level elected official in Haiti as well as the official's aide in connection with a mining project and a separate port project. The money would be funneled through Baptiste's non-profit to help hide the bribes. It appears that the $50,000 was never actually paid to the official. Instead, Baptiste used it for personal purposes. However, in a sworn statement in connection with a plea agreement that Baptiste has since indicated he would not honor, Baptiste said that while he had not used the $50,000 to pay the bribes as he had stated he would, he still had intended to use future payments from the undercover agent to pay the bribes.

On October 4, 2017, the DOJ indicted Baptiste in the District of Massachusetts on conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA, connspiracy to commit money laundering, and travel act violations.

This case is ongoing.

Country(ies) involved:    Haiti

Sanction to Bribe Ratio:    N/A

Sanction to Revenue Ratio:    N/A

Sanction to Profit Ratio:    N/A

Number of Related Enforcement Actions (Including This Enforcement Action):    1

Country(ies) involved:    Haiti

Total $ Bribery Payments:    N/A

Total $ Revenue Generated from Bribery:    N/A

Total $ Profit Earned or Expenses Avoided from Bribery:    N/A

Total $ Monetary Sanctions:    $0

Sanction to Bribe Ratio:    N/A

Sanction to Revenue Ratio:    N/A

Sanction to Profit Ratio:    N/A

Name:    Joseph Baptiste

Employers & Positions:    National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians - Founder/President ; Unnamed Limited Liability Company ("Company A") - Director

Country:    United States

FCPA Claims:    Anti-Bribery, Conspiracy (18 U.S.C. 371)

Related Claims:    Conspiracy to Launder Money (18 U.S.C. § 371; 18 U.S.C. §§ 1956, 1957) ; Travel Act (18 U.S.C. § 1952) ; Aiding and Abetting/Causing a Violation of the Travel Act (18 U.S.C. § 2; 18 U.S.C. § 1952) ; Criminal Forfeiture (28 U.S.C. § 2461; 18 U.S.C. § 981) ; Criminal Forfeiture (18 U.S.C. § 982)

Statutory Basis for FCPA Jurisdiction:    Domestic Concern ; Conspirator

Period of Bribery:   2014 - 2015

Total Bribery Payments:    $50,000

Total Revenue Generated from Bribery:    N/A

Total Profit Earned or Expenses Avoided from Bribery:    N/A

Country(ies) involved:    Haiti

Officials Potentially Influenced (Name; Title; Organization): 

  • Name N/A, Officials; Haitian government

Defendant-Related Entities Involved in the Misconduct:    N/A

Third-Party Intermediary:   

  • Joseph Baptiste , Agent/Consultant/Broker
  • Non-profit company controlled by Baptiste , Shell Company

Type of Bribe:   Money

Cash, Wire or Check:    No Available

Purpose of Bribe:    Obtain/retain business

TRANSACTION OVERVIEW
Payments to Baptiste

Period of Bribery:   2014 – 2015

Total Bribery Payments:    $50,000

Total Revenue Generated from Bribery:    N/A

Total Profit Earned or Expenses Avoided from Bribery:    N/A

Country(ies) involved:    Haiti

Officials Potentially Influenced (Name; Title; Organization):  

  • Name N/A, Officials; Haitian government;

Defendant-Related Entities Involved in the Misconduct:    N/A

Third Party Intermediary:    Joseph Baptiste - Agent/Consultant/Broker
Non-profit company controlled by Baptiste - Shell Company

Type of Bribe:   Money

Cash, Wire or Check:    No Available

Purpose of Bribe:    Obtain/retain business

Misconduct by Subsidiary?  No


M&A Negotiated or Completed During Misconduct, Investigation, or Resolution?     No

N/A

Aggravating Factors Referenced by the Government (Individual Defendants):

Defendant Insufficient Cooperation
Joseph Baptiste  

Total Monetary Sanctions for the Action:    $0

Case Status:    Ongoing


Disposition:    Undetermined

Date of Disposition:    N/A

No Document Title Date Category