Political News

Retired US Army colonel charged in Haitian bribery scheme

Posted August 30

— A retired U.S. Army colonel charged with conspiring to bribe Haitian government officials has been freed on his own recognizance.

Joseph Baptiste, of Fulton, Maryland, was freed after an initial appearance in federal court in Maryland on Tuesday. He is scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Boston on Sept. 7.

The 64-year-old Baptiste is charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to commit money laundering.

Prosecutors say the charges stem from an investigation into Haitian-American businessmen offering to facilitate bribes to Haitian officials in exchange for approval to do business in that nation.

Baptiste is a dentist who served in the Army for 23 years.

His lawyer said Wednesday that Baptiste is innocent and is "anxious to see the government's proof" of the allegations.

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