UK Insurance Broker Jailed over Costa Rican Corruption

October 28, 2010

A London-based insurance broker has been jailed after admitting making or authorizing corrupt payments worth almost $2 million to officials in the Costa Rican state insurance company and national electricity and telecommunications provider.

Britain’s Serious Fraud Office said Tuesday that Julian Messent – the director of PWS International Ltd. – has been sentenced to 21 months’ imprisonment.

Messent’s also been ordered to pay 100,000 pounds ($160,000) compensation within 28 days to the Republic of Costa Rica or serve an additional 12 months’ imprisonment.

Fifty-year-old Messent had pleaded guilty in London’s Southwark Crown Court to two counts of making corrupt payments between February 1999 and June 2002 following an investigation by the SFO and police.

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