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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Esquenazi speaks, checking in on Goldman Sachs, and released. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Esquenazi Speaks

In 2011, Joel Esquenazi was convicted of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and wire fraud; seven counts of FCPA violations; one count of money laundering conspiracy; and 12 counts of money laundering for a bribery scheme involving Haiti Teleco. Esquenazi was sentenced to an FCPA record 15 years in prison and his conviction was affirmed by the 11th Circuit in 2014 (see here) resulting in the two factor control and function test for determining whether an enterprise is an “instrumentality” under the FCPA.

Esquenazi was recently released from prison due to COVID concerns to serve the remainder of his sentence at home. In this approximate 25 minute podcast with his appellate counsel (Markus Funk – Perkins Coie), Esquenazi talks about the circumstances of his case, the conduct of the trial court judge, his journey through the federal prison system and his time in prison (including over 7,000 hours of tutoring).

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Summarizing Ho’s Second Circuit Appeal

Ho

As highlighted in this article, the Second Circuit recently heard oral argument in U.S. v. Chi Ping Patrick Ho.

As described in this prior post, in late 2018 Ho was found guilty at trial of Foreign Corrupt Practices Ac and money laundering violations in connection with alleged bribery schemes in Chad and Uganda on behalf of China Energy Fund Committee, an entity funded by CEFC China Energy Company Ltd.

This post summarizes the disputed FCPA issues on appeal (there are also money laundering and evidence issues on appeal).

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Ho Sentenced – But How Should One “Score” FCPA Sentences?

Ho

Yesterday the DOJ announced that Chi Ping Patrick Ho (pictured) was sentenced “to serve 36 months in prison for his role in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar scheme to bribe top officials of Chad and Uganda in exchange for business advantages for CEFC China Energy Company Limited (“CEFC China”).”  The sentence follows Ho’s conviction of FCPA, money laundering, and conspiracy offenses after a December 2018 trial (see here for the prior post).

As further noted in the DOJ release: “in addition to his prison term, Ho, 69, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China who resided in Hong Kong prior to his arrest in November 2017 and has been detained since his arrest, was fined $400,000 and [f]ollowing his prison sentence, Ho will be removed from the United States.”

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Ho Convicted Of FCPA And Related Offenses

Ho

As highlighted in this previous post, in November 2017 Chi Ping Patrick Ho (pictured) and Cheikh Gadio were criminally charged with conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, violating the FCPA, conspiring to commit international money laundering, and committing international money laundering in connection with alleged bribery schemes in Chad and Uganda on behalf of China Energy Fund Committee, an entity funded by CEFC China Energy Company Ltd.

In July 2018, Ho’s motion to dismiss was denied (see here), in September 2018 the DOJ quietly dismissed charges against Gadio (see here), and in late November Ho’s trial began with Gadio as a primary DOJ witness.

Yesterday, the DOJ announced that after a one week trial a federal jury found Ho guilty of one count of conspiring to violate the FCPA, four counts of violating the FCPA, one count of conspiring to commit international money laundering and one count of committing international money laundering.

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Potpourri

Potpourri

Scrutiny Alerts

CHS Inc., an agricultural cooperative, disclosed:

“In the fourth quarter of fiscal 2018, we contacted the U.S. Department of Justice and SEC to voluntarily self-disclose potential violations of the FCPA in connection with a small number of reimbursements the Company made to Mexican customs agents in the 2014-2015 time period for payments the customs agents made to Mexican customs officials in connection with inspections of grain crossing the U.S.-Mexican border by railcar. We are fully cooperating with the government, including with the assistance of legal counsel, which assistance includes investigating other areas of potential interest to the government. We are unable at this time to predict when our or the government agencies’ review of these matters will be completed or what regulatory or other outcomes may result.”

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