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In Dismissing FCPA And Related Charges – Judge Finds Bad Faith By The Government And That The “Government’s Word And Conduct Breached The Wall Of Credibility”

You be the Judge

As highlighted in this prior post, in September 2019 the DOJ announced the unsealing of a criminal indictment against (among others) Paulo Casqueiro Murta in connection with an alleged bribery scheme involving Venezuela’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company, PDVSA. According to the DOJ, Murta (a citizen of Portugal and Switzerland) provided financial services to various co-defendants (including former employees of PDVSA) in connection with various bribery schemes and he was charged with directly violating or assisting others in violating the FCPA and money laundering laws.

As highlighted in this prior post, in July 2022 Judge Kenneth Hoyt (S.D. Tex) granted Murta’s motion to dismiss the charges based on lack of jurisdiction, lack of due process, vagueness, and statute of limitation issues. Because of these various reasons, Judge Hoyt found it unnecessary to decide Murta’s motion to dismiss based on a violation of the Speedy Trial Act.

As highlighted in this prior post, the DOJ appealed the dismissal (along with a related dismissal of a co-defendant) and in February 2023 the Fifth Circuit reinstated FCPA and related charges against Murta (and a co-defendant) holding that – at this stage of the proceedings – the indictment was good enough and also holding that the term “agent” in the FCPA is not unconstitutional.

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Fourth Circuit Affirms Lambert Convictions


As highlighted in this prior post, in January 2018 the DOJ announced that Mark Lambert (pictured – a former co-president of Transport Logistics International) was criminally charged with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related violations for his alleged “role in a scheme to bribe an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation.” The enforcement action concerned the same core conduct at issue in the prior enforcement actions involving Vadim Mikerin (an alleged Russian “foreign official”) and Daren Condrey (See here and here for prior posts).

As highlighted in this prior post, in November 2019 a jury found Lambert guilty of four counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), two counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud. (The jury returned not guilty verdicts on three FCPA counts and one count of money laundering).

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Interesting Turn Of Events In Boncy Enforcement Action


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.  In 2018 the DOJ added criminal charges against Roger Boncy in connection with the same core conduct. (See here).

Unlike most individual FCPA defendants, Baptiste and Boncy put the DOJ to its burden of proof and in June 2019, after a two-week 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. (See here).

Thereafter, in post-trial motions the defendants sought an acquittal or a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel. (See here). In March 2020, U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs (D. Mass.) granted Baptiste and Boncy a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel. (See here).

In August 2021, the First Circuit affirmed a new trial for the defendants. (See here).

That was a rather long introduction to set the stage for the re-trial of Baptiste and Boncy which is scheduled to begin in July.

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