A Washington, D.C., federal jury has acquitted two of the remaining five defendants in a foreign bribery trial of military products brokers.
R. Patrick Caldwell and John Gregory Godsey were found not guilty of substantive FCPA counts this afternoon, after nine days of deliberation and three months of trial.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon has instructed the jury to continue deliberating on the counts remaining against siblings John and Jeana Mushriqui and another businessman, Marc Morales. If the jury remains hung, Leon said in court today he would declare a mistrial.
A sixth defendant, Steve Giordanella, was dismissed last month after Leon threw out an overarching conspiracy charge that had linked him to the case.
The defendants were among 22 brokers of law enforcement and military products who were arrested in January 2010 and charged with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations. The U.S. said they had conspired to bribe the defense minister of Gabon for contracts to outfit the West African nation’s presidential guard. The operation was actually an FBI sting and no real Gabonese officials were involved.
This group of defendants is the second to go to trial in the case. Last year, Leon declared a mistrial for the first group of defendants after the jury failed to reach a verdict.
Last Tuesday, Leon declined to accept a partial verdict from the current jury and instructed its members to continue deliberations.