CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
Justice Department Moves to Drop the Africa Sting FCPA Cases
26 Corporate Crime Reporter 8, February 21, 2012
The Justice Department has moved to dismiss its Africa sting cases.
After two hung juries, the Department moved today “to dismiss with prejudice the Superseding Indictment, and all underlying indictments, against the remaining defendants who are pending trial.”
The case has become an embarrassment for the Department’s FCPA program – which in recent years has successfully focused on large multinational foreign bribery.
But the FCPA program ran into trouble in Las Vegas with the Africa Sting case – so called because the 22 defendants were arrested in a sting operation at a Las Vegas gun show – called the Shot Show convention – and the FBI agents participating in the sting were posing as agents who were going to sell weapons to Gabon.
Judge Richard Leon divided the case into four trials. The first trial in July 2011 resulted in a mistrial. And Judge Leon threw out certain of the charges against the defendants. The second trial ended last week with the acquittal of three defendants and a hung jury on three.
After the second trial, the jury foreman took to Mike Koehler’s FCPA Professor blog and asked the government to drop the case.
“The government has the option to try (the three defendants) again,” the jury foreman wrote. “As a taxpayer, I sincerely hope they will instead dismiss the charges. The evidence simply does not exist, even if they get their witnesses to behave better under cross, to convict. This is a case that makes one wish that a super majority was sufficient to acquit. Prolonging this prosecution is a waste of government resources.”
Today, the government agreed.
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