Mistrial in Huge FCPA Sting Case After Jury Deadlocks
By Christopher M. Matthews | July 7, 2011 4:33 pm

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon declared a mistrial Thursday in a massive  foreign bribery case after the jury deadlocked.

Four men, Pankesh Patel, Andrew Bigelow, John Benson Weir and Lee Allen Tolleson, were charged in connection with allegations they violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The mistrial came after seven days of deliberation and a nearly six-week-long trial that was seen as a test case for the Justice Department’s stringent enforcement of the law, which prohibits bribes to foreign officials to win business.

After several notes from the jury saying that they were incapable of reaching a unanimous decision on any of the charges, Leon declared a mistrial. Prosecutor Joey Lipton said the government would re-try all four defendants.

Twenty-two defense products executives were charged in 16 sealed indictments filed in December 2009 with violating and conspiring to violate the FCPA as well as conspiracy to launder money. Leon had thrown out the money laundering charges.

The indictments were unsealed in January 2010 after the arrests of all but one of the defendants in a dramatic roundup at a gun show in Las Vegas. The defendants have since been broken into four separate trial groups, and defendants Patel, Bigelow, Weir and Tolleson make up the first group.

The case is the culmination of a two and half year sting operation in which FBI agents, in coordination with an industry executive turned informant , posed as representatives of Gabon, allegedly soliciting $1.5 million in bribes for a fictitious $15 million deal to supply the Ministry of Defense. Actual representatives of Gabon were not involved in the deal.

The sting marked the first wide-scale use of aggressive investigative techniques like wiretaps and informants in an FCPA case and coincides with the department’s expansion of its FCPA enforcement regime.

A spokeswoman for the Justice Department said the prosecution was grateful for the jury’s service. Defense attorneys declined to comment.

UPDATED: 8:40 p.m.

Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email

Comments are closed.

Ernst & Young LLP
Dealing with complex issues of fraud, regulatory compliance and business disputes can detract from efforts to succ... more
Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
ANALYSIS: Know Your Target: DOJ Reinforces Key Successor Liability Principles more
Shearman & Sterling LLP
ANALYSIS: Gifts of Travel and Luxury Watches to Saudi Officials Not Mere ‘Icing on the Cake’ for FCPA Charges more
McGuireWoods LLP
ANALYSIS: Update on Brazil - Embraer SA and Anti-Corruption Progress more
Hogan Lovells LLP
ANALYSIS: The “Fugitive Disentitlement” Doctrine Warrants a Close Look by the United States Supreme Court more
Baker & McKenzie
ANALYSIS: Show Me the Money: Canada's Upcoming Extractive Sector Transparency Act Helping to Combat Corruptio... more
Greenberg Traurig LLP
ANALYSIS: You Operate in Africa, Employ Only Africans, and Deal with Only African Governments: Are You Exempt... more

Attorney General Eric Holder announces new guide to law enforcement for First Amendment-protected demonstrations. Comes in advance of expected announcement that Officer Darren Wilson won't be indicted in Ferguson, Mo.

President Obama announces Loretta Lynch as nominee for Attorney General.

USDOJ: CRIMINAL DIVISION NEWS  
An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.