Jorge Granados, the former chief executive officer of Miami-based telecommunications company Latin Node Inc. (LatiNode), pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by conspiring to pay bribes to government officials in Honduras.  To date, four former senior executives of LatiNode have pleaded guilty to conspiring to pay bribes to the Honduran officials.

      

LatiNode provided wholesale telecommunications services using Internet protocol technology to countries throughout the world, including Honduras.   In December 2005, LatiNode learned that it was the sole winner of an "interconnection agreement" with Empresa HondureƱa de Telecomunicaciones (Hondutel), the wholly state-owned telecommunications authority in Honduras.  The agreement permitted LatiNode to use Hondutel's telecommunications lines in order to establish a network between Honduras and the United States, and to provide long distance services between the two countries.   

 

Granados and other LatiNode executives agreed to a secret deal to pay bribes to Hondutel officials, including the general manager, a senior attorney for Hondutel and a minister of the Honduran government who became a representative on the Hondutel Board of Directors.  Between September 2006 and June 2007, LatiNode executives paid more than $500,000 in bribes to the Honduran officials, concealing many of the payments by laundering the money through LatiNode subsidiaries in Guatemala and to accounts in Honduras controlled by the Honduran government officials.  Granados admitted that he authorized bribe payments.      

 

At sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 22, 2011, Granados faces up to five years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000, or twice the value gained or lost.  

  

SOURCE: DOJ