Robert Antoine, one of DupervalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s predecessors, was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty and admitting he received more than $1 million in similar bribes.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James Koukios said DupervalÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s crimes were notable because he came from a prominent Haitian family with access to wealth and
advantage. He was appointed to the Haiti Teleco position in 2003 by former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThis is a person who didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to steal. He didnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢t have to take that money. But he did,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Koukios said, adding ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthat was money for the people of Haiti. It wasn't for Mr. Duperval.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â The court was told that the payments were intended to give certain U.S. telecommunications companies favorable
rates and contracts with Haiti Teleco.
But Duperval told the court the payments through shell companies he controlled from Miami-based Cinergy Telecommunications and Terra Telecommunications were not bribes but only ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œtokens of appreciationÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â for doing his job well. But the judge called that testimony ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œludicrousÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â before finding Duperval had committed perjury on the witness stand, grounds for adding to his sentence.
Duperval, who used the bribe money for personal expenses such as mortgage payments and childrenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s education costs, also was ordered to forfeit more than
$433,000 in assets. He did not speak at last monthÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s hearing, but his wife, Ingrid Duperval, asked for mercy. Duperval, has three children and a home in Miramar, Florida.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œHe is the best father, the best son, the best husband, any woman could dream to have,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â she said.