April 12, 2023

US imposes Global Magnitsky-related sanctions upon former Haitian official

The US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control recently sanctioned Gary Bodeau, the former President of Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies, for his extensive involvement in corruption in Haiti.  OFAC reports that Bodeau has facilitated and solicited millions of dollars in bribes in order to influence the outcome of certain political appointments in Haiti.  In 2018, Bodeau reportedly paid bribes to Haitian officials in exchange for their votes when he was seeking ministerial position appointments and solicited hundreds of thousands of dollars from senior officials in exchange for his political support.  In 2019, he also allegedly offered a prospective ministerial appointee a successful vote in the Chamber of Deputies in exchange for millions of dollars paid out to individual members of the Chamber.

OFAC designated Bodeau on April 5, 2023 pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets those who engage in serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world.  As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of the designee within the United States or within the possession or control of a US person are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving the designated persons.  In addition, entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more designated persons are also blocked, unless they are exempt or authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC.