Ex-Barbados Official Loses Appeal of Bribe Laundering Conviction

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The country’s one-time industry minister, Donville Innis, was convicted of transferring money through a New York dental company

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Mr. Innis was indicted in connection with the receipt of a $36,000 bribe from Insurance Corporation Barbados Ltd., which was paid in 2015 and 2016 to induce the company to run government business. The money was first sent to a friend’s dental company in Long Island, NY, then transferred. He was sentenced to two years in prison in 2021.

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Although Mr. Innis opposed the charges at trial, his lawyer on appeal did not argue whether bribery had occurred. Instead, he tried to argue that the conduct was not technically money laundering because Mr Innis had not laundered money after being sent from the dental business.

Mr Innis’ lawyer later acknowledged that case law for New York rejects that type of defense on a money laundering charge, but urged the appeals court to reconsider. The court said that the law is clear.

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“The government did not need to prove that Innis laundered money to convict him after taking the bribe,” the Second Circuit said in the six-page ruling.

The appeals court also rejected Mr Innis’ arguments that the jury’s directions were faulty.

A spokesman for prosecutors declined to comment on the verdict. Mr Innis’ lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which criminalizes foreign bribery, does not allow prosecutors to charge foreign officials, but in recent years the US Department of Justice has used money-laundering laws to target those corrupt foreign officials. who transfer their money through America.

The lawyer defending Mr Innis in the trial told reporters after the 2020 ruling that US courts are not the best place to investigate alleged wrongdoing overseas.

Anthony Rico said, “It is very difficult to ask Americans to evaluate people’s conduct in foreign countries, removed from the environment in which the behavior takes place.”

Prosecutors publicly closed an investigation into ICBL, which allegedly paid bribes, after the company agreed to turn over nearly $94,000 of profits from tainted contracts. Prosecutors said the ICBL, which was not charged, voluntarily came forward to report the conduct and cooperated fully with US officials.

ICBL declined to comment.

According to Federal Bureau of Prisons records, Mr Innis is lodged in a prison outside Detroit and is due to be released in January.

Richard Vanderford at [email protected]

Credit: www.Businesshala.com /

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