Thursday, July 5, 2018
Aruban Telecommunications Purchasing Official Sentenced to Prison in Money Laundering Conspiracy Involving Violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
An Aruban official residing in Florida was sentenced to 36 months in prison today for money laundering charges in connection with his role in a scheme to arrange and receive corrupt payments to influence the awarding of contracts with an Aruban state-owned telecommunications corporation.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg of the Southern District of Florida and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan of the FBI’s Miami, Florida Field Office made the announcement.
Egbert Yvan Ferdinand Koolman, 49, a Dutch citizen residing in Miami, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno of the Southern District of Florida, who also ordered Koolman to serve three years of supervised release following his prison sentence and to pay over $1.3 million in restitution. Koolman was an official of Servicio di Telecommunicacion di Aruba N.V. (Setar), an instrumentality of the Aruban government. He pleaded guilty on April 13, before Judge Moreno to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, between 2005 and 2016, Koolman operated a money laundering conspiracy from his position as Setar’s product manager. Koolman admitted that, as part of the scheme, he conspired with Parker and others to transmit funds from Florida and elsewhere in the United States to Aruba and Panama with the intent to promote a wire fraud scheme and a corrupt scheme that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Koolman was promised and received bribes from individuals and companies located in the United States and abroad in exchange for using his position at Setar to award lucrative mobile phone and accessory contracts. He received the corrupt payments via wire transfer from banks located in the United States, in cash during meetings in Miami and in Aruba, and by withdrawing cash in Aruba using a bank card that drew money from a U.S.-based bank account. In exchange for the more than $1.3 million in corrupt payments that he received, Koolman also admittedly provided favored vendors with Setar’s confidential information.
In connection with the scheme, Lawrence W. Parker, Jr., 42, of Miami, pleaded guilty on Dec. 28, 2017 before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga of the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud. He was sentenced on April 30, to serve 35 months in prison and was ordered to pay $701,750 in restitution.
The FBI’s International Corruption Unit in Miami is investigating the case. Trial Attorneys Jonathan Robell and Vanessa Snyder of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lois Foster-Steers of the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs, as well as law enforcement colleagues in Aruba and Panama, provided significant assistance in this matter.