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Judicial Decision

This post provides updates on the DOJ’s appeal of the new trial recently granted to FCPA defendants Joseph Baptiste and Roger Boncy as well as the SEC’s attempt to serve FCPA defendant Asante Berko.

DOJ First Circuit Appeal

As highlighted in this prior post, in March U.S. District Court Judge Allison Burroughs (D. Mass.) granted Joseph Baptiste and Roger Boncy a new trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel after the defendants were convicted of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other charges in connection a Haitian bribery scheme.

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Friday Roundup

Roundup

Not true, DOJ appeal, scrutiny alert, and monitor extended. It’s all here in the Friday roundup.

Not True

In this recent Trace International sponsored podcast about the 2014 Esquenazi decision, Bill Steinmen (Senior Editor at the FCPA Blog) asserts that the FCPA’s “legislative history doesn’t really shed any light” on the meaning of “instrumentality” in the FCPA.

Not true.

There is much information in the FCPA’s legislative history relevant to the issue of whether Congress intended the phrase “instrumentality” in the “foreign official” definition to cover state-owned or state-controlled enterprises (“SOEs”).

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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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Jury Convicts Baptiste And Boncy

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 indicated in this recent DOJ release 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.

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Boncy Seeks Dismissal Of Indictment – Alleges That Government Destroyed Exculpatory Evidence

wow

As highlighted towards the end of this post, judicial findings of prosecutorial misconduct and other mishaps have been an all too frequent feature in contested individual FCPA enforcement actions.

In this recent filing, Richard Boncy (an individual added to the Haiti port project enforcement action in October 2018) moves to dismiss the indictment “on the basis that the Government has destroyed and otherwise failed to preserve evidence that would show he is innocent of all charges in indictment based on an alleged bribery scheme.”

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