You can’t outrun the long arm of the law. But you can plead with it.
Two former top executives with institutional brokerage Direct Access Partners, a firm that shut down in December of 2013 after its clearing firm, Goldman Sachs, stopped clearing its trades, have opted to plead guilty for indiscretions regarding its bond trading business.
DAP’s former chief executive, Benito Chinea, and former managing director, Joseph Demeneses, each pleaded guilty one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and the Travel Act in connection with a scheme to bribe an official at a Venezuelan development bank, Banco de Desarollo Economico y Social de Venezuela (BANDES), in exchange for the official’s directing BANDES’ trading business to DAP.
Chinea, of Manalapan, New Jersey, and Joseph DeMeneses, of Fairfield, Connecticut, were each sentenced to four years in prison. They were also ordered to pay $3,636,432 and $2,670,612 in forfeiture, respectively, which amounts represent their earnings from the bribery scheme.
“These Wall Street executives orchestrated a massive bribery scheme with a corrupt official in Venezuela to illegally secure tens of millions of dollars in business for their firm,” Assistant Attorney General Caldwell said in a media statement. “The convictions and prison sentences of the CEO and Managing Director of a sophisticated Wall Street broker-dealer demonstrate that the Department of Justice will hold individuals accountable for violations of the FCPA and will pursue executives no matter where they are on the corporate ladder.”
Three other DAP employees and the BANDES official pleaded guilty last year for their participation in the bond trading matter.
DAP itself filed for bankruptcy.
New York-based Direct Access Partners started out in 2002 as a New York Stock Exchange floor brokerage and grew rapidly over the years in both equities and fixed income. Sources tell Traders the firm has 130 employees.