The Haiti Swamp and D.C. Swamp Merge in this head-scratching game of Clue.
This indictment from 2017 may have snuck past many people, but it most definitely requires everyone’s attention. This is not a court case about one man and corrupt foreign officials. The scope of this is staggering, and everyone should be following this court case closely. This is a powerful web of corrupt politicians, civilians, foreign officials, and rivaling families from the Haiti swamp straight to the D.C. swamp. This is a story you are going to want to read all the way to the end!
1) On August 28, 2017 A criminal complaint was filed against Joseph Baptiste in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, with an attached affidavit from Special Agent Garett Trombly. Also on August 28th a Government’s motion to seal was filed, entered and terminated.
2) On August 29, 2017 the Department of Justice put out a press release stating: Retired U.S. Army Colonel Charged with Conspiring to Bribe Senior Officials of The Republic of Haiti., Joseph Baptiste was arrested, and a notice of hearing for initial appearance was set for September 7th.
3) On September 7th a secured bond was set for $250,000.00.
4) On October 4, 2017 the Department of Justice put out a press release stating: Retired U.S. Army Colonel Indicted for Conspiring to Bribe Senior Government Officials of the Republic of Haiti. This is the 15-page indictment.
5) As of April 4, 2018 it is still in the “Status” stage, and the next court date has been set for April 24, 2018. However, within this mostly insignificant transcript of United States of America v. Joseph Baptiste, there was one interesting little nugget that the honorable judge says is “par for the course”.
United States Attorney’s Office – Stephen E. Frank, AUSA and Baptiste’s attorney Mr. LaRoche:
Mr. LaRoche: But nonetheless, your Honor, I have enough now to be able to make a determination as to what we’re going to do for suppression purposes and going forward.
Mr. Frank: And just to be clear, for the record, your Honor, I’ve advised Mr. LaRoche that he obviously intends to file a suppression motion. If he does and if we’re required to respond to that, it is our intention not to move for a third point off for timely acceptance of responsibility. And so he’s aware of that. He’s also aware that after the filing of the suppression motion if he decides to proceed to trial, we’re likely to bring additional charges on top of the charges that have already been filed.
The Court: So if it’s any consolation Mr. LaRoche, this is just par for the course now.
Mr. LaRoche: Yes, your honor.
6) April 24, 2018 is the next court date. I will be keeping close tabs on this case and will post all follow-ups, linking back to this article.
Below is the content from the full press release from the Department of Justice: Retired U.S. Army Colonel Indicted for Conspiring to Bribe Senior Government Officials of the Republic of Haiti:
A retired U.S. Army colonel was charged in an indictment filed today for his alleged role in a foreign bribery and money laundering scheme in connection with a planned $84 million port development project in Haiti.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney William D. Weinreb of the District of Massachusetts, Assistant Director Stephen Richardson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division and Special Agent in Charge Harold M. Shaw of the FBI’s Boston Field Office made the announcement.
Joseph Baptiste, 64, of Fulton, Maryland, was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the Travel Act, one count of violating the Travel Act and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in an indictment filed in the District of Massachusetts.
The indictment alleges that Baptiste solicited bribes from undercover FBI agents in Boston who posed as potential investors in connection with a proposed project to develop a port in the Moles Saint Nicolas area of Haiti. According to the indictment, the proposed project was expected to cost approximately $84 million, and was to involve the construction of a cement factory in its first phase. The indictment alleges that during a recorded meeting at a Boston-area hotel, Baptiste told the agents that he would funnel the payments to Haitian officials through a non-profit entity that he controlled — which was based in Maryland and purported to help impoverished residents of Haiti — in order to secure government approval of the project.
The indictment further alleges that in telephone calls Baptiste discussed bribing an aide to a senior Haitian official by giving him a job on the port development project after he left his position. It further alleges that although Baptiste ultimately used for personal purposes approximately $50,000 that he received from the undercover agents for the payment of bribes to Haitian officials — money that was wired at Baptiste’s direction to a non-profit organization he controls — he intended to seek additional money from the undercover agents to use for future bribe payments in connection with the port project.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Trial Attorney Kevin R. Gingras of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen E. Frank of the District of Massachusetts are prosecuting the case.
JOSEPH BAPTISTE AT A GLANCE:
Baptiste is a United States citizen and resident of Maryland. He is a retired colonel in the United States Army and a practicing dentist. Baptiste served as the president of an entity headquartered in Maryland that purported to be a non-profit organization with the stated mission of helping the impoverished in the Republic of Haiti. He also served as a member of the board of directors of “Company A”, a limited liability company organized under the laws of Delaware.
Baptiste’s indictment includes numerous violations, but make no mistake, there are a LOT of players discussed in here, with what could lead to potential forthcoming arrests:
- Travel Act
- Aiding and Abetting
- Money Laundering Conspiracy
- Travel Act Forfeiture Allegation
- Money Laundering Forfeiture Allegation
Rather than putting the full 15-page indictment here, I am highlighting the pertinent details so you may understand the charges, the players, and for purposes of connecting the dots. Note: UC-1 and UC-2 are the undercover FBI agents.
9. From in or about November 2014 through in or about December 2015, BAPTISTE, together with CC-I and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury, conspired to bribe foreign officials to obtain and retain business in connection with the Port Project. As part of the conspiracy, BAPTISTE, CC-I and others known and unknown to the Grand Jury solicited bribes from two undercover agents from the FBI posing as a prospective investors for the Port Project (“UC-I” and “UC-2”), which was expected to cost approximately $84 million, and was to involve the construction of a cement factory in its first phase. BAPTISTE told the UCs that he would funnel the payments to Haitian officials through Non-Profit in order to secure government approval of the project. UC-2 ultimately wired $50,000 to Non-Profit’s bank account at BAPTISTE’ s direction. Although BAPTISTE used the $50,000 for personal uses, he intend to use future payments from UC-2 to make bribe payments in connection with the Port Project.
10. The purpose and object of the conspiracy charged in Count One was to enrich the co-conspirators, including BAPTISTE, by paying bribes to Haitian officials in order to obtain and retain business for BAPTISTE, CC-I, Company, Non-Profit, and others in connection with the Port Project.
14. On or about November 13, 2014, BAPTISTE held a meeting with UC-I at which he discussed a possible investment with UC-1 in the Port Project; confirmed to UC-1 that a “pay-to-play” system existed in Haiti; described bribe payments that would have to be made in connection with the Port Project, as well as how they could be made; and explained that he could use Non-Profit to conceal and facilitate bribe payments to the Haitian officials.
19. On or about November 12, 2015, at the meeting described in Paragraph 18 above, BAPTISTE and CC-I spoke to the UCs about the Port Project and solicited the UCs to invest in a factory that would constitute the first phase of the project, with an estimated cost of approximately $84 million.
20. On or about November 12, 2015, at the meeting described in Paragraph 18 above, BAPTISTE went to a suite at the hotel and had a one-on-one conversation with UC-2. During that conversation, BAPTISTE confirmed that bribes totaling approximately 5% of the cost of the factory would need to be paid to Haitian officials, including Foreign Official-I and other high level officials within the Haitian government. BAPTISTE told UC-2 that he would conceal and facilitate the bribe payments by using Non-Profit as a conduit for the bribe payments.
22. Thereafter, on or about November 16, 2015, BAPTISTE sent UC-2 an email containing the account and routing numbers for Non-Profit’s bank account, so that UC-2 could wire money to BAPTISTE that he could use to pay bribes to obtain an updated letter of support from Foreign Official-I.
5. Baptiste also served as a member of the board of directors of “Company A,” a limited liability company organized under the laws of Delaware.
6. “Individual A” was a United States citizen and the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Company A. According to a 2013 prospectus, Company A’s mission was to promote a port development project (the “Port Project”) in an area of Haiti known as Mole Saint Nicolas. The prospectus described the Port Project as involving numerous “modular” phases, including the construction of multiple cement factories, a shipping vessel recycling station, an international transshipment station with numerous slips for shipping vessels, a power plant, a petroleum depot, and tourist facilities.
11.b. When asked by UC-1 if a “pay-to-play” system existed in Haiti, Baptiste said: “I would say this, like, we’re tipping them to do the right thing, it’s like a tip.”
11.c. Baptiste described the language typically used for payments to officials in Haiti on projects like the Port Project as “expenses”.
11.d. Baptiste warned UC-1 of government scrutiny and the need to provide accounting and paperwork to conceal the payments to government officials. He stated: “That’s right…you just do the consulting group and the consulting group will make sure that everybody has been taken care of…because again, legally your company…cannot get involved with that…because whenever you get the U.S. involved…you gotta lot of scrutiny and you don’t want to have any kinds of problems with the U.S. government or anybody.”
11.h. Baptiste offered to use Maryland non-profit 1 as a vehicle for payments from UC-1 to Haitian government officials. He said: “The Maryland non-profit 1 group, I think, is quicker and easier because we do a lot of non-profit investment in Haiti…we do water…we involved in the cholera issue…we’re gonna provide that to the people, to the elected officials to take care of their people…and that is what they are looking for… Maryland non-profit 1 takes care of all the work; we take care of the ground and the people…everybody.”
Baptiste described two prior instances in which he had helped make payments to Haitian government officials to obtain a license to operate in Haiti. The first was with a telecommunications company for which Baptiste indicated that he and his affiliates had secured a license to build a cellular network in Haiti, and which Baptiste had earlier described to UC-1 as one of Baptiste’s most successful personal investments. Baptiste said he had used a Haitian company to facilitate to government officials for the telecommunications deal, much in the same way he was offering UC-1 the ability to use Maryland non-profit 1 to faciliate payments to government officials in connection with UC-1’s investment in the Port Project. Baptiste went on to describe setting up a company known as PromoCapital to enable a power company to develop a power plant in Haiti. Baptiste contended that Maryland non-profit 1 was involved in facilitating payments for the power plant project.
17. …In addition, as a show of his access to prominent officials in Haiti, Baptiste displayed on his cellular phone an email from two American political consultants whose services he was apparently marketing to a candidate for the Haitian presidency.
Above are just a few of the highlights. This affidavit from Special Agent Garett Trombly is a MUST READ. In order to understand the full scope of this case and just how corrupt the players are, you must read the full affidavit. It is 17 pages, but well worth the read!
CLINTON CONNECTION: The telecommunications company he is referring to is Digicel – the company involving Dennis O’Brien (Clinton’s lap dog) and the Clintons. My source has previously confirmed to me that they continue to receive monthly kickbacks on this.
THE PLAYERS – (KEY CHART):
This is much like playing a game of clue, trying to figure out who each “unnamed” conspirator is and what their role is. Based on the indictment verbiage, here is a breakdown of the players:
1) Joseph Baptiste: A retired U.S. Army Colonel and a DDS that chaired a non-profit registered in the state of Delaware, called National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (NOAH), with an active dental clinic in Silver Spring, Maryland, and who was also on the Board of Haiti Invest LLC.
+ ”Non-Profit,” a purported non-profit organization with the stated mission of helping the impoverished in the Republic of Haiti, was headquartered in Maryland
+ “Company,” a limited liability company established to promote projects for the reconstruction of Haiti
2) Co-Conspirator #1 (“CC-I”), a United States citizen, was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of “Company”
3) “Foreign Official-I” was a high-level elected official in the government of the Republic of Haiti
4) “Aide-I” was an aide to Foreign Official-I, and was a trained engineer. Aide-I was a “foreign official”
5) “Aide-2” was an aide to Foreign Official-I. Aide-2 was a “foreign official”
6) “Lawyer-1” was a lawyer who worked within Foreign Official-1 ‘s office
THE “COMPANY” & “PORT PROJECT”:
Before we get into the game of “who’s who” and “who done it”, is this Port Project even legit or is it a front for some larger scheme? It seems they are doing a phenomenal job on trying to confuse people.
There certainly isn’t a lot of chatter about it online, however, there is an article in the Haiti Libre talking about the development meeting between IBI/DAA Group and several Haitian officials. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Earlier this week, René Hubert, Vice-President of IBI-DAA group presented to the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Wilson Laleau, in the presence of several deputies and Senators of the Department, senior officials of the Ministry and representatives of other state institutions, a draft Strategic Development Plan of Mole Saint-Nicolas in Northwest Haiti.
Before the presentation of the development plan of the area of Mole Saint-Nicolas, Minister Laleau encouraged all parliamentarians present and appealed to all sectors of national life to work with the Government to achieve this project who according to him, will benefit Haiti. “[…] The next steps of work will allow to finalize the strategic development plan of the area of Mole Saint-Nicolas, including the development of a program of implementation of the infrastructure, equipment and services required. They will also allow to structure and channeling research of private investment in identified growth sectors. I invite you to accompany us throughout this process that will help meet the challenge of development in the area of Mole Saint-Nicolas, of Department Northwest and Haiti.”
At first glance, it would appear as though they are doing a really solid job of setting the stage to cover their “front” while calling out to investors. What’s equally interesting is this is the only article that I could dig up on this project. Yes, there are 3 sources reporting on it, but it’s the same article. That created even more suspicion, until I dug up this 98-page pdf, Expanding Haiti’s Economic Northwest Gateway: Mole St. Nicolas. And this is where it gets even more interesting!
The “Company” the indictment refers to is Haiti Invest LLC, a company established in the state of Delaware, U.S.A., with affiliates in Haiti, to promote the Môle Project (the “project”). The prospectus was created in 2013, the exact time the FBI agent stated he had seen documentation created on this development, dated 2013. Additionally, it showcases all of the projects that were discussed and listed in the affidavit. Most obvious, it is an “LLC”. And, finally, look who is a Board Member – none other than Joseph Baptiste. It is stated several times that Joseph Baptiste was a Board Member of this LLC. I am 100% certain this IS the “Company”.
Beginning on page 68 all the way through 97, it documents the Board Members as well as all other parties involved in this LLC. Several of these names are familiar, and again, we have more Clinton connections.
Richard Boncy, Chairman & CEO, Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti. Extensive background as executive at several Fortune 500 companies. Connections/background in: Harvard University, Columbia University, educated lawyer, several law firms, FCC, DOD, FDA, etc.
Dr. Joseph Baptiste: Member of the Board. Background indicated above. (player #1)
Edward Bonnefil: Member of the Board.
Harvy Gedeon: Member of the Board. Native of Haiti and U.S. Citizen
Doebren Mulder: Member of the Board.
Jean Frederic Sales: Member of the Board. The most prominent business law firm in Haiti with international career in corporate law and banking. Has participated in most major transactions in Haiti for the past 20 years.
Hugo J.H. Schielke: Member of the Board. Held titles of Director at the IFC and World Bank, was on the Board at AIG and Bear Stearns, etc.
Harold R. Charles: Member of the Board. Civil Engineer, CEEPCO Contracting, worked for FEMA, EPA, DC Air National Guard, Specialist for U.S. Army at the Pentagon. Big background.
Dr. Rudolph Moise: Member of the Board. This man resides in Florida, is a dual citizen, has multiple ties that need further research, and is a founding member of NOAH, the National Organization for the Advancement of Haitians (listed in indictment as non-profit), the organization that Baptiste is listed on as the “Officer”. My source has also indicated to me that Baptiste and Moise run in corrupt circles together.
NOTE: There are nearly 70 names in this document. I urge all to dive in and get digging! Knowing what I know about Haiti thus far, there are a lot more connections to be made from this extensive list.
Two Additional Clinton Connections (they just keep coming):
Listed under the Social Program: GWYNNE BEATTY. She received an award from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton back in 2009.
Under Engineering & Construction is Rafael Mevs. The Mevs family is one of the richest families in Haiti and has competing business with the Bigio’s. (See my article from the other day on Gilbert Bigio’s commercial building being set on fire Monday, April 9th). Just for the record; my source tells me the Clintons work with both, as well as others. You can find correspondence about the Mevs in Wikileaks documents as well, but here is a taste of who the Mevs are from an article in the Los Angels Times from 2010 regarding the “elites of Haiti”:
Reporting from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti — Gregory Mevs leaped from his armored silver Toyota SUV and marched past the guards and mango trees into what serves these days as the center of the Haitian government.
He was ready to dispense a million gallons of fuel to the earthquake-ravaged capital. But the paperwork was not in order. He needed the Haitian prime minister’s signature.
Ten minutes later, he had it.
Mevs can do that. He has the prime minister’s ear. He hobnobs with people like Bill Clinton, George Soros and the chief executives of the world’s largest corporations. He is one of Haiti’s storied elite, a member of one of the six families that control the Haitian economy and have essentially called the shots here for generations.
There has been a rivaling battle among the richest families in Haiti for quite some time. They monopolize markets, and the ports happen to be a very key market for them. I will be getting into this in more detail in a future article, as it all ties back to connections with the Clintons, lobbyists in D.C., and very wealthy people capitalizing on Haiti, while the killing, trafficking, organ harvesting and destruction continues. It has become a lawless playground of evil for its poor citizens.