On December 22, 2023, the US Department of Justice announced the indictment of three individuals allegedly involved in a foreign bribery and money laundering scheme. According to the indictment, Carl Alan Zaglin, a US citizen, conspired with co-defendant Aldo Nestor Marchena, a dual citizen of the United States and Peru residing in Florida, to pay bribes to Honduran officials in order to secure contracts for the sale of uniforms and other goods manufactured by Zaglin’s company.
The indictment, filed under seal on November 28, 2023 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleges that Zaglin and Marchena transferred more than $160,000 to bank accounts controlled by co-defendant Francisco Roberto Cosenza Centeno, a Honduran national who served as the Executive Director of the Comité Técnico del Fideicomiso para la Administración del Fondo de Protección y Seguridad Poblacional (“TASA”). TASA is a Honduran government entity responsible for procuring uniforms and equipment for the Honduran national police, and, as its executive director, Cosenza was a foreign official within the meaning of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), Title 15, United States Code, Section 78dd-2(h)(2)(A). As detailed in the indictment, the funds were transferred through US and foreign bank accounts for the benefit of Cosenza and another foreign official in order to win contracts with, and secure payment from, TASA. During the period between March 2015 and November 2019, Zaglin, Marchena and others secured three contracts worth approximately $10.6 million between TASA and Zaglin’s company. The indictment alleges that in conjunction with each of these contracts, sham brokerage agreements were executed in order to facilitate and conceal the payments to Cosenza and the other Honduran official. In correspondence between the parties, the payments were called “lobbyist fees” or “HNP payments,” and were transferred through sham companies set up for the purpose of receiving the illicit funds.
Zaglin is charged with one count of violating the FCPA; he and Marchena are both charged with conspiracy to violate the FCPA. Zaglin, Marchena, and Cosenza are all charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. In addition, Cosenza and Marchena are charged with money laundering and engaging in transactions in criminally derived property.