Miami Telecom Chief Pleads Guilty of Bribing Hondutel Officials

Jorge Granados Enters Guilty Plea, Faces Five Years and $250,000 Fine

BY JEFF STRATTON

According to an FBI press release and US court documents, a Miami firm called LatiNode offered bribes to Honduran government officials connected with Hondutel. As much as $500,000 was given to at least three Honduran officials. Granados was the founder and CEO of LatiNode.

Another defendant, Manuel Caceres, is a Honduran citizen living legally in Miami and working for LatiNode. After winning an exclusive contract with Hondutel in 2005, LatiNode learned it would have to substantially lower its rates or risk losing the contract. Not long afterward, according to the indictment, a LatiNode memo sent to Caceres said doing business with Hondutel would be difficult “because we know they expect something under the table.”

So the two decided to bribe Honduran officials, including a senior Hondutel executive, a Hondutel attorney, and a government minister. Those officials told LatiNode where to start depositing the bribe money. By 2006, cash started flowing from Miami banks to Central American bank accounts. The deposits continued through 2007, when Granados ordered LatiNode’s IT dude to remove any reference to Hondutel from the company’s e-mail servers.

Granados was arrested in 2010, and as part of his recent plea agreement, faces between 135-168 months in prison.

Caceres is looking at 87-108 months’ imprisonment.

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