February 21, 2020

PetroEcuador bribery defendant sentenced to 20 months in prison

On February 19, 2020, Jose Melquiades Cisneros Alarcon was sentenced to twenty months in prison for his role in a bribery conspiracy involving officials at the Empresa Pública de Hidrocarburos del Ecuador (PetroEcuador).  Cisneros was also ordered to forfeit $4.4 million.

Cisneros pleaded guilty on August 19, 2019, to conspiracy to commit money laundering.  In the factual proffer in support of his plea agreement, Cisneros admitted to conspiring to pay approximately $4.4 million in bribes to PetroEcuador officials.  He also admitted to creating and controlling shell companies and those companies’ bank accounts for the purpose of laundering the bribe payments.  Cisneros also admitted to using proceeds of the bribery scheme to purchase real estate in Florida on behalf of a PetroEcuador official.

Twelve individuals have pleaded guilty in the PetroEcuador bribery investigation.  Cisneros is the second person to be sentenced in the case.

Judgment | Plea Agreement | Factual Proffer | Preliminary Order of Forfeiture