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DOJ Opposes Rodriguez’s Release Pending Appeal

As detailed in this prior post, Carlos Rodriguez (one of the defendants in the Haiti Teleco case currently serving a seven year sentence) is seeking release pending appeal of his conviction and sentence.  Among other things, Rodriguez’s appeal will relate to ‘foreign official” issues and will be the first time in the FCPA’s history that “foreign official” will be squarely before a Circuit Court.

Yesterday, the DOJ filed (here) an opposition brief.  In pertinent part, the DOJ stated as follows.  “In order to justify bond pending appeal, Rodriguez must raise a substantial question as to “all counts on which imprisonment was imposed.”  […]  Because Counts 1 and 9-21 all involve independent wire fraud allegations, and because he was sentenced on all of these counts, Rodriguez’s FCPA-related allegations have no bearing on his convictions on these counts.  Similarly, Rodriguez’s arguments regarding his money laundering convictions […] have no bearing on his conviction in Count 1 for conspiring to violate the FCPA and the wire fraud statute.  In short, even assuming arguendo that this Court eventually accepts Rodriguez’s FCPA and money laundering arguments, this will have no effect on his conviction for conspiring to commit wire fraud, which the jury specially found Rodriguez had done and for which he was sentenced.  Accordingly, Rodriguez cannot meet the standard for bond pending appeal, and his motion should be denied.”  (emphasis in original).

As to “foreign official” the DOJ stated that the trial court’s jury instruction was “consistent with, albeit not verbatim to, decisions handed down by other courts that have considered the meaning of ‘instrumentality’ under the FCPA” (citing to the Carson and Lindsey decisions).  The DOJ further stated that “the government presented overwhelming proof at trial that Teleco was an instrumentality of the Haitian government.”

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