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Judge Orders New Trial For Baptiste And Boncy Based On Ineffective Assistance Of Counsel

Judicial Decision

As highlighted in this previous post, in 2017 (in connection with an undercover string) the DOJ unsealed criminal charges against Joseph Baptiste (a retired U.S. Army Colonel, practicing dentist, and founder / president of a Maryland-based Haitian focused non-profit) for alleged Haitian bribery. As highlighted in this previous post, in 2018 the DOJ added criminal charges against Roger Boncy in connection with the same core conduct.

Unlike most individual FCPA defendants, Baptiste and Boncy put the DOJ to its burden of proof. As highlighted in this previous post, in June 2019, after a two-week jury trial, a federal jury in Boston found Baptiste guilty of one count of violating the Travel Act and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and Boncy guilty of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and the Travel Act. Thereafter, in post-trial motions the defendants sought an acquittal or a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel. (See here).

Earlier today, in this decision, U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs (D. Mass.) granted Baptiste and Boncy a new trial.

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Judicially Ordered Acquittals In FCPA Trials

Judicial Decision

As highlighted in this post, recently a federal trial court judge granted Lawrence Hoskins’s post-trial motion for acquittal on all FCPA charges.

Obtaining a judicially ordered acquittal (whether post-trial as in the Hoskins matter or at some other stage of a trial such as after the prosecution’s case in chief) rarely happens given the high burden a defendant has in seeking such an extraordinary remedy.

Yet, as highlighted in this post, judicially ordered acquittals have happened in several other individual FCPA prosecutions. These occurrences are notable given the relative infrequency of FCPA trials.

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In A Setback For The DOJ, Judge Grants Hoskin’s Motion For Acquittal Of All FCPA Charges

Judicial Decision

This November 2019 post concerning the jury verdict in the long-running Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action against Lawrence Hoskins (the FCPA conduct Hoskins was found guilty of allegedly occurred between 2002 and 2004 and the trial took place in 2019 nearly 15 years later) noted that the jury verdict was not the final chapter in the enforcement action, just merely a development.

Indeed.

Earlier today in a setback for the Department of Justice and its FCPA theory of prosecution, Judge Janet Bond Arterton (D. Conn) granted Hoskin’s motion for acquittal on the seven FCPA charges he was convicted of by the jury (See here for the decision. The judge denied Hoskin’s motion for acquittal on the five money laundering charges he was convicted of by the jury).

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Hoskins Seeks Judgment Of Acquittal Or New Trial

Judicial Decision

As highlighted in this prior post, last month Lawrence Hoskins (a United Kingdom national and former senior vice president for the Asia region for France-based Alstom) was found guilty of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related offenses “for his role in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar foreign bribery scheme and a related money laundering scheme.”

The long-drawn out case has had many interesting twists and turns as Hoskins was charged in 2013 for conduct that occurred between 2002 and 2004. Moreover, as highlighted in prior posts, both the trial court and Second Circuit rejected the DOJ’s expansive jurisdiction enforcement theory against the foreign national. Nevertheless, the case was allowed to proceed to trial largely on the factual issue of whether Hoskins was “an agent of a domestic concern.” Continue Reading

Lambert Convicted – Appeal Likley

lambert

As highlighted in this prior post, in January 2018 the DOJ announced that Mark Lambert (a former co-president of Transport Logistics International) was criminally charged with FCPA and related violations concerning the same underlying bribery scheme alleged in prior enforcement actions involving Vadim Mikerin (an alleged Russian “foreign official”) and Daren Condrey.

Earlier today, Lambert was convicted “for his role in a scheme to bribe an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and on related fraud and conspiracy charges.”

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