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“Foreign Official” Sentenced For Money Laundering

Innis

As highlighted in this prior post, in August 2018 the DOJ quitely posted to its FCPA website a so-called declination with disgorgement letter concerning Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL). Pursuant to the agreement, ICBL agreed to pay approximately $94,000 to the U.S. for alleged bribes to a Barbadian government official in exchange for insurance contracts.

The official was identified as Donville Inniss (pictured) who during the relevant time period was a member of the Parliament of Barbados and the Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce, and Small Business Development of Barbados.

According to the DOJ, in exchange for the bribes from ICBL employees, Inniss leveraged his position as the Minister of Industry to enable the Barbadian insurance company to obtain two government contracts. To conceal the bribes, Inniss (a U.S. legal permanent resident who maintained a residence in the United States) arranged to receive them through a U.S. bank account in the name of a dental company that was located in New York and owned by his friend who was a U.S. citizen. According to the DOJ, Inniss’ friend then assisted Inniss in further transferring portions of the bribes from the dental company bank account in New York to a bank account in the name of Inniss that was located in Tampa, Florida.

Shortly before the DOJ announced the resolution with ICBL, Inniss was charged with conspiracy to launder money and money laundering.

As highlighted in this prior post, in January 2020 Inniss was found guilty at trial.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that Inniss was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay $36,536.73 in forfeiture.

In the DOJ’s release, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas McQuaid of the Criminal Division stated:

“Donville Inniss engaged in a bribery and money laundering scheme to line his own pockets at the expense of the people of Barbados. International corruption undermines trust in governments, threatens our national security, and prevents the free market from functioning fairly for law-abiding people and companies.  [This] sentence sends a strong message that the Department is committed to prosecuting corrupt officials like Inniss who seek to use the U.S. financial system to hide their bribe payments.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Mark Lesko of the Eastern District of New York stated:

“In accepting bribes and laundering the payments through banks on Long Island, Inniss not only abused the public trust that was placed in him by the people of Barbados, he also stained the U.S. banking system with the proceeds of his corrupt scheme.  The defendant’s sentence … reflects the seriousness of his crimes.”

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