The government yesterday filed a superseding indictment in the prosecution of the 22 shot-show defendants, charging them under a consolidated grand jury indictment with 44 counts, including conspiracy to violate the FCPA, substantive FCPA offenses, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aiding and abetting.
Prosecutors proposed trying the defendants in four groups:
The first group: Daniel Alvirez, Lee Allen Tolleson, Andrew Bigelow, Pankesh Patel, John Benson Weir III.
The second group: David Painter, Lee Wares, Jonathan Spiller, Michael Sacks, Israel Weisler.
The third group: Patrick Caldwell, Stephen Giordanella, John Mushriqui, Jeana Mushriqui, John Godsey, Mark Morales.
And the fourth group: Helmie Ashiblie, Yochanan Cohen, Haim Geri, Amaro Goncalves, Saul Mishkin, Ofer Paz.
As reported in March, one of the 22 defendants, Daniel Alvirez, is expected to plead guilty soon to charges of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. Although he's included in yesterday's superseding indictment, the government in March released a two-count superseding information against him alone. An information generally indicates a plea bargain is in the works or already agreed.
Alvirez faces up to five years in prison for each of the two conspiracy counts in the information. He could have faced up to 20 years in jail on the money-laundering charge that was dropped, and five years in prison for each substantive FCPA offense he originally faced.
Alvirez and the other shot-show defendants were first charged in 16 separate indictments. They allegedly plotted with an undercover FBI agent to bribe the minister of defense of an African country.
Download a copy of the superseding indictment released April 19, 2010 in U.S. v. Amaro Goncalves et al here.