Maritime executive sentenced to 7 years
A Virginia man was given an 87-month prison sentence for paying bribes to former Panamanian government officials to secure maritime contracts, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Charles Paul Edward Jumet of Fluvanna County, Va., was sentenced Monday for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and for making a false statement to federal agents. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered Jumet to pay a $15,000 fine and to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term. It is the longest prison term imposed against an individual for violating the FCPA.
Jumet, 53, pleaded guilty on Nov. 13, 2009, to conspiring to violate the FCPA and making a false statement to federal agents. The FCPA makes it a crime to pay or offer to pay anything of value to a foreign government official in order to obtain or retain business.
According to court documents, from about 1997 through July 2003, Jumet and others conspired to pay money secretly to Panamanian government officials in exchange for awarding contracts to Ports Engineering Consultants Corp. (PECC) to maintain lighthouses and buoys along Panama's waterway. In December 1997, the Panamanian government awarded PECC a no-bid 20-year concession. Upon receipt of the concession, Jumet admitted he and others authorized corrupt payments to be made to the Panamanian government officials. In total, Jumet and others paid more than $200,000 to the former administrator and former deputy administrator of the Panama Maritime Authority and to a former high-ranking elected executive official of the Republic of Panama.
Jumet also made a false statement to federal agents about a “dividend” check payable to the bearer in the amount of $18,000 that was endorsed and deposited into an account belonging to the high-ranking elected Panamanian government official. Jumet falsely claimed this “dividend” check was a donation for the high-ranking elected official's re-election campaign, when, in fact, Jumet admitted it was given to the elected Panamanian government official as a corrupt payment for allowing PECC to receive the contract.
In a related case, John Warwick pleaded guilty on Feb. 13, for his role in the same conspiracy to violate the FCPA. He is to be sentenced by Hudson on May 14. ' Chris Dupin