February 23, 2022

Two brothers linked to Petroecuador-related bribery scheme pled guilty to FCPA violations in 2020

On February 22, 2022, filings in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York in the cases of Antonio Pere Ycaza (A. Pere) and his brother Enrique Pere Ycaza (E. Pere) revealed that on October 7, 2020 the two brothers had pled guilty to conspiring to violate the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (and that A. Pere also pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering), in connection with a scheme to provide improper payments to Ecuadorian officials in exchange for obtaining contracts from Petroecuador, Ecuador’s state-owned and controlled oil company.

According to court filings, between June 2011 and July 2019, A. Pere, with the assistance of E. Pere and other unnamed coconspirators, acted as a consultant in assisting two unnamed trading companies, an unnamed asphalt company, and other entities in obtaining certain contracts with Petroecuador.  To effectuate the scheme, the brothers executed corrupt transactions in which the asphalt company and trading companies made payments to consulting companies owned or controlled by the brothers.  The brothers then used a portion of those funds to make bribe payments to Ecuadorian government officials in exchange for the officials ensuring that Petroecuador awarded contracts and business to the asphalt company and trading companies.  At least a portion of the corrupt payments were transferred through or held in New York accounts.  According to court filings, the brothers’ scheme was responsible for a total of more than $70 million in bank transfers between 2013 and 2019, approximately $22 million of which was paid to Ecuadorian officials on behalf of the trading companies and asphalt company.

As part of their plea agreements, A. Pere agreed to forfeit approximately $45 million and E. Pere agreed to forfeit $2 million.  

Minute Entry – Antonio Pere Ycaza | A.Ycaza Guilty Plea | Criminal Information – A.Ycaza |Order of Forfeiture – A.Ycaza | Minute Entry – Enrique Pere Ycaza | E.Ycaza Guilty Plea | Criminal Information – E.Ycaza | Order of Forfeiture – E.Ycaza