US VoIP managers sentenced for Nitel bribery

Two former senior managers of a US-based VoIP firm have been sentenced to a total of 10 years probation and fines of $17,000

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By  George Bevir Published  September 7, 2008

Two former senior managers of a US-based VoIP firm have been sentenced to a total of 10 years probation and fines of $17,000 for attempting to bribe employees of Nigerian telco Nitel.

Both men pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate anti-bribery provisions of US-law with the payment of approximately $267,000 in the form of illegal "commissions" to employees of state-owned telecommunications carriers in various African countries.

On Tuesday, former managing director of ITXC Corporation, Roger Young, was sentenced to five years probation, including three months of home confinement and three months in a community confinement centre along with a $7,000 fine.

Former ITXC vice president Steven J. Ott was sentenced in July to serve five years probation, including six months in a community confinement centre and six months home confinement, and ordered to pay a $10,000 fine.

A third defendant in the case, Yaw Osei Amoako, pleaded guilty on in 2006, and was sentenced in August last year to 18-months in prison and a $7,500 fine.

Documents on a US government website allege that Amoako bribed a senior official of government-owned Nitel, in order to obtain a lucrative contract for ITXC.

The contract was necessary for ITXC to be able to transmit telephone calls to individuals and businesses in Nigeria. According to the complaint, Amoako paid the Nitel official a total of $166,541.31 in bribes between November 2002 and May 2004, and ITXC made $1,136,618 in net profits from the contract.

VoIP firm ITXC was acquired by Teleglobe in May 2004, before Teleglobe was bought by Tata’s VSNL for $239m in 2005.

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