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Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier Is Just Plain Wrong

Lohier

Compared to many other federal statutes, there has been little caselaw interpreting the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in its 45 years of existence.

Substantive opinions by appellate courts are even more rare.

Thus, it is often a big deal when there is an appellate court decision interpreting the FCPA. Even a dissenting opinion – even a policy statement in a dissenting opinion – is notable.

As highlighted in this post, recently the Second Circuit – once again – sided with FCPA defendant Lawrence Hoskins on an FCPA issue. Specifically, the court held “that the district court properly granted Hoskins’s motion for judgment of acquittal for violations of the FCPA because there was no agency or employee relationship between Hoskins and Alstom Power, Inc.”

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Second Circuit – Once Again – Sides With Hoskins On FCPA Issue

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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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Fourth Circuit Affirms Lambert Convictions

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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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Court Dismisses FCPA Charges Based On Lack Of Jurisdiction, Lack Of Due Process, Vagueness, And Statute Of Limitation Issues

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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.

Recently, 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.

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Judge Broadly Interprets FCPA’s Internal Controls Provision – Concludes That “Circumvention” Does Not Depend On The Falsification Of A Book Or Record

JudgeBrodie

As highlighted here, Roger Ng (a former managing director at Goldman Sachs) was recently convicted by a jury of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related offenses for paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s state-owned and state-controlled investment development company.

As discussed here, in September 2021 Judge Margo Brodie (E.D.N.Y) denied Ng’s pre-trial motion to dismiss. Among the arguments Ng made in the motion to dismiss was that a count in the indictment should be dismissed because the DOJ failed to that Ng conspired to circumvent a set of internal accounting controls cognizable under the FCPA. As to this issue, Judge Brodie concluded that the FCPA’s internal controls provisions can be implicated even in transactions in which an issuer does not use its own assets to pay an alleged bribe.

During the trial, at the conclusion of the government’s case, Ng moved for a judgment of acquittal of the charge and Judge Brodie denied the motion on the record on March 28, 2022. Recently, Judge Brodie issued this Memorandum and Order explaining her decision.

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