R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Howard Krongard, Inspector General, U.S. Department of State, and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that defendant Jose M. Miranda, a/k/a “Chema,” pled guilty today in Miami, for unlawfully participating in government matters in which he had a financial interest, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 208. Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2007 at 9:15 a.m., before U.S. District Court Judge Federico Moreno.
Jose Miranda was a public official who worked for TV Marti, a broadcasting service that provides Spanish language news, features, and entertainment programs to Cuba, in an effort to promote freedom and democracy in Cuba. TV Marti is operated by the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), a component of the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB). The IBB provides administrative and engineering support for United States government-funded non-military international broadcast services. The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency responsible for all United States government and government sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting, supervises the IBB.
From 1999 until December 2004, defendant Miranda was the Director of Programming for TV Marti. During his tenure as Director, defendant Miranda had contracting authority for programming services.
As defendant Miranda was approving requisitions and invoices for programming services rendered to TV Marti by a vendor named Perfect Image Film & Video Productions (“Perfect Image”), Miranda was unlawfully receiving various payments from Perfect Image. According to in-court statements made during the plea, defendant Miranda and the owner of Perfect Image had an understanding that Miranda would receive a portion of the monies Perfect Image received from TV Marti.
Based on evidence gathered from interviews and documents, defendant Miranda was receiving as much as 50% of the monies paid by TV Marti to the vendor. Defendant Miranda personally accepted 73 checks in varying amounts, totaling approximately $112,000, from Perfect Image during the period of November 26, 2001, through December 20, 2004.
At sentencing, defendant Miranda faces a term of imprisonment of up to five years. Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Department of State and the FBI. The United States is represented in this case by Assistant United States Attorney Eloisa D. Fernandez.
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