Feds Seeks $1.5 Million in Bribes Paid to Honduran Official

The Department of Justice is seeking the forfeiture of nine properties worth approximately $1,528,000 that were allegedly purchased with funds traceable to a $2 million bribe paid by a Honduran information-technology company to the former executive director of the Honduran Institute of Social Security.

kleptocracy

“Mario Zelaya was the director of Honduras’s social security agency, but instead of building a social safety net for his country’s citizens, he allegedly used his position of public trust to steal public money for himself,” said Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.  “Our action today highlights how the Criminal Division’s Kleptocracy Initiative, with our network of law enforcement partners around the globe, will trace and recover the ill-gotten gains of corrupt officials.  Criminals should make no mistake:  the United States is not a safe haven for the proceeds of your crimes.  If you hide or invest your stolen money here, we will use all the legal tools we have to find it and seize it.”

From 2010 to 2014, Dr. Mario Roberto Zelaya Rojas, 46, of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, served as the Executive Director of the Honduran Institute of Social Security (HISS), a Honduran Government agency that provides social security services, including workers’ compensation, retirement, maternity, and death benefits.

According to allegations in the forfeiture complaint, Zelaya solicited and accepted $2.08 million in bribes from Compania De Servicios Multiples, S. de R. L. (COSEM) in exchange for prioritizing and expediting payments owed to COSEM under a $19 million contract with HISS.

Zelaya also allegedly instructed COSEM to make bribe payments to two members of the Board of Directors of HISS charged with overseeing the COSEM contract.  To conceal the illicit payments, COSEM allegedly sent the bribes through its affiliate company, CA Technologies.

The bribe proceeds were then allegedly laundered into the United States and used by Zelaya and his brother, Carlos Alberto Zelaya Rojas, to acquire real estate in the New Orleans area.

Certain properties were titled in the name of companies nominally controlled by Zelaya’s brother in an effort to conceal the illicit source of the funds as well as the beneficial owner.  The current action seeks forfeiture of nine properties acquired with the proceeds of Zelaya’s alleged bribery scheme.

Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to [email protected]

Copyright © Corporate Crime Reporter
In Print 48 Weeks A Year

Built on Notes Blog Core
Powered by WordPress