The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Massachusetts has charged a retired U.S. Army Colonel for conspiring to bribe officials in Haiti.
According to federal officials, 64-year-old Joseph Baptiste is charged with money laundering and facilitating bribes in connection to a proposed project to develop a port in Mole-Saint-Nicholas, Haiti.
The proposed project was expected to cost around $84 million and involve a number of peripheral projects.
Baptiste allegedly told agents during a recorded meeting at a Boston hotel that he would funnel payments to Haitian officials through a non-profit organization he controls based in Maryland to secure government approval for the project.
He was allegedly recorded in a phone call with a federal agent saying the official would need $25,000 to approve the project.
“It is alleged that after undercover agents wired approximately $50,000 to the non-profit controlled by Baptiste for the purpose of bribing Haitian officials, Baptiste used the $50,000 for personal purposes, though he intended to seek additional money from the agents to use for future bribe payments in connection with the port project,” a news release about the charges reads.
Baptiste could face up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Joseph E. Baptiste, DDS, MAGD, FAAID, DICOI.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, the son of an attorney-father and an accountant-mother, Dr. Joseph E. Baptiste was attracted early to the medical profession with a strong desire for healing, restoration, and rebuilding the health of people. He immigrated to the United States at age 15 and completed secondary school in Chicago. He matriculated through the University of Illinois Circle Campus with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology-chemistry. After one year as a Microbiological Researcher with Johnson Product & Company Research Center in Chicago, Dr. Baptiste attended Howard University School of Dentistry. Upon receiving his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, Dr. Baptiste joined the US Army where he completed his dental surgical residency program, and actively served for four years as staff Dental Surgeon at Walson Army Hospital Center.
Recognized in the dental community as one of the most skilled dental health surgeons in the nation, Dr. Baptiste was appointed in 2000 as a member of the State Board of Dental Examiner, and is a member of the Northeast Regional Board. His private practice, J.B Dental Implant and Reconstruction Center, in Silver Spring, Maryland is recognized as one of the most advanced in the field of implantology. He holds a Mastership at the Academy of General Dentistry, a distinction attained by only 10 percent of his peers. He is a Diplomat of the International Congress of Implantology, and a Fellow and Diplomat of the American Academy of Implant Dentistry and the American College of Forensic Examiners. His many professional awards include: Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans and Who’s Who Among Outstanding Executives and Professionals. The Washingtonian Magazine named him one of the Top 100 Best Doctors in the Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia area.
As Founder/President of the recently formed Haitian Diaspora Federation (HDF), a not-for-profit organization of twenty five major Haitian organizations worldwide, Dr Baptiste represented the Haitian Diaspora at the United Nations General Assembly “Haiti Donors Conference” in March 2010.