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Second Circuit Once Again Hears Appeal In U.S. V. Hoskins

secondcircuit

To call U.S. v. Hoskins a long-drawn out Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement action would be an understatement.

In 2013, the DOJ criminally charged Lawrence Hoskins (a United Kingdom national and former senior vice president for the Asia region for France-based Alstom) with conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions among other charges. (See here for the prior post). The conduct at issue alleged occurred between 2002 and 2004.

Unlike certain of his co-defendants who pleaded guilty, Hoskins put the DOJ to its burden of proof and at the trial court level argued in a motion to dismiss that the FCPA charges should be dismissed “on the basis that [the indictment] charges a legally invalid theory that he could be criminally liable for conspiracy to violate the FCPA even if the evidence does not establish that he was subject to criminal liability as a principal, by being an “agent” of a “domestic concern.” (See here for the prior post).

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Checking In On The DOJ’s Hoskins Appeal

Judicial Decision

In 2019 Lawrence Hoskins was found guilty of FCPA and related charges in a long-running enforcement action (the FCPA conduct Hoskins was found guilty of allegedly occurred between 2002 and 2004).

As highlighted in this prior post, in early 2020 the trial court judge granted Hoskins’s motion of acquittal on all FCPA charges (the issue was highly factual and generally focused on whether Hoskins was an agent of a “domestic concern.”).

Rather than let go of this enforcement action (in which the DOJ suffered numerous other defeats including this 2018 pre-trial Second Circuit decision regarding jurisdictional issues), after the post-trial acquittal the DOJ filed another Second Circuit appeal (see here) in which it framed the issues as follows:

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Checking in on an appeal, sentence reduced, and for the reading stack. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Checking In On An Appeal

This recent post highlighted the DOJ’s appeal in the Lawrence Hoskins matter.

Recently Hoskins filed a brief in response and is also cross-appealing certain issues.

As to the DOJ’s appeal challenging the trial court’s decision to acquit Hoskins of all FCPA charges on the grounds that the trial evidence utterly failed to prove he acted as an agent of a domestic concern, the brief states in summary fashion:

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DOJ Files Brief In Another Second Circuit Appeal In The Hoskins Matter

appeal

Why?

That was the question posed in this March when the DOJ filed a notice of appeal to the Second Circuit of Judge Janet Bond Arterton’s February 26th grant of Lawrence Hoskins’s motion for acquittal on the seven FCPA charges he was convicted of by the jury. (See here for the prior post. As noted in the post, Judge Arterton denied Hoskin’s motion for acquittal on the five money laundering charges he was convicted of by the jury).

As highlighted in this post, thereafter Judge Arterton significantly rejected the DOJ’s 7-9 year sentencing recommendation on the money laundering charges and sentenced Hoskins to approximately one year in federal prison. Even if the Second Circuit would overturn Judge Arterton’s acquittal (a process that would likely take a few years given that the last Second Circuit appeal in Hoskins matter took approximately two years), Judge Arterton already ruled on February 26th that Hoskins’s motion for a new trial was conditionally granted if her judgment of acquittal was later vacated or reversed on appeal.

Nevertheless, the DOJ is plowing ahead with its appeal as it filed this brief earlier this week.

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Seng Seeks Supreme Court Review

Seng2

This previous post highlighted how the Second Circuit affirmed Ng Lap Seng’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related conviction“for his role in a scheme to bribe United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.”

The issues in the Second Circuit appeal were: (i) whether the United Nations is an “organization” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. 666; (ii) whether the jury was correctly instructed as to controlling law, particularly as pertains to bribery in light of McDonnell v. United States (see here for the prior post concerning the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision construing 18 USC 201 – the domestic bribery statute – particularly the meaning of “official act”; and (iii) whether the evidence was insufficient to support a guilty plea.

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