WASHINGTON – Two former ITXC Corporation executives have pleaded guilty and one former executive has been sentenced in the District of New Jersey in relation to their participation in a foreign bribery scheme, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
Steven J. Ott and Roger Michael Young, former executives of the global telecommunications company ITXC Corporation, pleaded guilty on July 25, 2007, to separate one-count criminal informations charging them with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Travel Act. The defendants face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 29, 2007.
ITXC was a publicly traded company that provided telecommunication services, primarily Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) services, to carriers across the globe. Ott served as ITXC’s Executive Vice-President of Global Sales and Young served as ITXC’s Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East. In pleading, both defendants admitted that between September 1999 and October 2004, they conspired with each other and other former ITXC employees and officers to make corrupt payments to employees of foreign state-owned and foreign-owned telecommunications carriers in Nigeria, Rwanda and Senegal to obtain and retain contracts for ITXC. The employees of the state-owned telecommunications carriers were foreign officials, as defined by the FCPA. The informations charge that Ott, Young, and their co-conspirators caused ITXC to pay approximately $266,000 in bribes to foreign officials; specifically, about $166,000 to an official employed by Nitel, a telecommunications company wholly owned by the Nigerian government; approximately $26,000 to an official employed by Rwandatel, a telecommunications company that was wholly owned by the Rwandan government; and approximately $74,000 to an employee of Sonatel, a telecommunications carrier partly owned by the Senegalese government.
In a related case, former Regional Manager of ITXC Corporation, Yaw Osei Amoako, 55, of Hillsborough, N.J., was sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiring to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and to violate the Travel Act stemming from corrupt payments to foreign officials in order to retain business for ITXC in Africa. The Honorable Garrett E. Brown Jr. also ordered Amoako to pay a $7500 fine and serve two years of supervised release.
The case is being prosecuted by Fraud Section Trial Attorney Kit Dimke for the Criminal Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Lurie, for the District of New Jersey. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.