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Tuesday
Mar142017

The FCPA Docket (March 2017)

The following summarizes the “FCPA Docket” for individuals, which includes all known FCPA-related ongoing prosecutions, fugitives, sentencings, and pending appeals.

This information is current as of March 13, 2017. 

FCPA-Related Ongoing Prosecutions 

  • Uriel Sharef, Herbert Steffen, Andres Truppel, Ulrich Bock, Stephan Signer and Eberhard Reichert, Carlos Sergi and Miguel Czysch (DOJ | SDNY 11-1056): The DOJ charged the defendants, all former senior executives with or agents of Siemens AG or one of its subsidiaries, in December 13, 2011. Truppel pleaded guilty on September 30, 2015, and his sentencing date is set for April 14, 2017 (see Pending Sentencing section below). No trial date has been scheduled for the other defendants, all of whom remain at large. As non-U.S. nationals currently living abroad, the other defendants will likely require extradition to be tried.
  • Elek Straub, Andras Baloghand Tamas Morvai (SEC | SDNY 11-9645): The SEC charged Straub, Baloghand Morvai, all former executives of Magyar Telekom, on December 29, 2011. The three defendants lost an initial motion to dismiss the charges against them in February 2013.  Following discovery by the parties, the Court is now considering motions for summary judgment filed by the defendants on grounds relating to personal jurisdiction and the statute of limitations. Morvai settled with the SEC on February 15, 2017, agreeing to pay a $60,000 penalty without admitting or denying the charges. On March 10, 2017, Straub entered into an "agreement in-principle" with the SEC to resolve the allegations against him. The details of the agreement, which is contingent on SEC approval, have yet to be released, but the SEC is expected to approve or deny the proposed settlement within six weeks. The trial date for Straub (absent approval of his settlement) and Balogh is set for May 8, 2017.
  • Jald Jensen (DOJ | NDOK 12-06): The DOJ charged Jensen, a former Sales Manager for Bizjet International, along with Bernd Kowalewski, the former CEO of Bizjet, on April 5, 2013. Kowalewski, who pleaded guilty in July 2014, was sentenced to time served on November 18, 2014. No trial date is currently scheduled for Jensen, who appears to be living outside of the United States. 
  • Dmitry Firtash, Andras Knopp, Suren Gevorgyan, Gajebdra Lal, Periyasamy Sunderalingam, and KVP Ramachandra Rao (DOJ | NDIL 13-515). The DOJ charged the defendants, all non-U.S. nationals, under seal in June 20, 2013 (unsealing the charges on April 2, 2014). Firtash, a Ukrainian national was arrested in March 2014 and released after posting $174 million bail. According to the indictment, Firtash controls Group DF which was named, but not charged, along with other companies associated with Firtash. The United States sought to extradite Firtash, but had its request rejected by an Austrian court on April 30, 2015. This ruling was overturned on appeal on February 21, 2017; however, Austrian Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter could intervene to block extradition. The other five defendants are at large, and no trial dates are currently scheduled. As non-U.S. nationals currently living abroad, these defendants will likely require extradition to be tried. (Note: Rao, a Member of Parliament in India, was not charged with an FCPA offense). 
  • Lawrence Hoskins (DOJ | DCCN 12-238): The DOJ charged Hoskins, the former Senior Vice-President of Alstom Asia, in a superseding indictment against Pomponi, the former Vice-President of Regional Sales for Alstom SA’s U.S.-subsidiary, on July 30, 2013. While Pomponi pleaded guilty on July 17, 2014, Hoskins has sought to have the charges against him dismissed. Although on December 30, 2014, the Court denied Hoskin's initial motion to dismiss, on August 14, 2015, the Court agreed to strike the conspiracy count against him on the grounds that Hoskins, a non-U.S. citizen/domestic concern, was not Alstom's agent and so could not be prosecuted under the FCPA for conduct occurring outside the territory of the United States. On March 16, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut affirmed its earlier ruling that a non-resident foreign national cannot be charged with conspiracy to violate the FCPA (or with aiding and abetting a violation of the FCPA) unless the government can show that he acted either as an agent of a “domestic concern” or while physically present in the United States. DOJ appealed to the 2nd Circuit on April 4, 2016. Oral arguments in the case are set for March 2, 2017. The sentencing for all other defendants convicted in connection with this matter has been suspended until the appeal is concluded (see Pending Sentencing section). 
  • Alain Riedo (DOJ | SDCA 13-3789): The DOJ charged Riedo, the former Vice-President and General Manager of Maxwell Technologies’ wholly owned Swiss subsidiary, on October 15, 2013, and an arrest warrant was issued the same day. As a non-U.S. national living abroad, Riedo will likely require extradition to be tried. No trial date is currently scheduled.
  • Ng Lap Seng and Jeff C. Yin (DOJ | SDNY 15-706): The DOJ charged Macau billionaire Ng and his assistant Yin with FCPA counts in a second superseding indictment on November 22, 2016. The original indictment charged Ng and Yin, alongside two other defendants, with domestic bribery, money laundering, and tax offenses on October 20, 2015. A superseding indictment then charged Ng and Yin with an additional conspiracy count on June 30, 2016, before the filing of the second superseding indictment. One alleged recipient of bribes, the former president of the United Nations General Assembly John W. Ashe, passed away in 2016, resulting in the dismissal of the related non-FCPA charges against him. Another alleged recipient of the bribes, former deputy U.N. ambassador to the Dominican Republic Francis Lorenzo, pleaded guilty to non-FCPA charges in March 2016; his sentencing is set for June, 9, 2017.
  • Joo Hyun Bahn, Ban Ki Sang, Malcolm Harris (DOJ | SDNY 16-cr-0831) and Sang Woo (DOJ | SDNY 17-0139): The DOJ charged Ban, a South Korean construction executive, his son Bahn, a New York commercial real estate broker, and Harris, an arts and fashion consultant and blogger, under seal in an indictment on December 15, 2016 (unsealing the charges on January 10, 2017). The DOJ charged Woo, a New York commercial real estate broker, in a separate criminal complaint on January 10, 2017. Bahn and Woo, both South Korean nationals and U.S. permanent residents, were arrested on January 10, 2017, while Ban, a South Korean national, and Harris, a U.S. citizen, remain at large. No trial date has been set for Bahn, while Woo's case has been continued until March 13, 2017. (Note: Harris was not charged with an FCPA offense).
  • Michael L. Cohen and Vanja Baros (SEC | EDNY 17-00430): The SEC charged Cohen and Baros, two former Och-Ziff executives, on January 26, 2017. Cohen is a dual U.S. and U.K. national, while Baros is an Australian national living in the United Kingdom. No trial date is currently scheduled.
  • Amadeus Richers (DOJ | SDFL 09-21010): The DOJ initially charged Richers, an executive with the telecommunications companies Uniplex Telecom Technologies and Cinergy Telecommunications, in 2011, and issued a superseding indictment in 2012. Richers was arrested on February 23, 2017, and is currently scheduled to be arraigned on March 17, 2017. Richers was indicted alongside Washington Vasconez Cruz and Cecilia Zurita, and all three were declared fugitives on March 7, 2013 (see FCPA-Related Fugitives below). 

FCPA-Related Fugitives

  • Han Yong Kim  (DOJ | CDCA 09-77): The DOJ charged Kim, the former president of CCI's Korean office, on April 8, 2009. Kim, a non-U.S. national, has been challenging his fugitive status in an attempt to contest his indictment without surrendering to U.S. authorities. The Ninth Circuit rejected his challenge in April 2014. The South Korean government has reportedly refused requests to extradite Kim because it does not consider the individuals Kim is accused of bribing to be public officials.   
  • Washington Vasconez Cruzand Cecilia Zurita, (DOJ | SDFL 09-21010): The DOJ initially charged Cruz, and Zurita, executives with the telecommunications companies Uniplex Telecom Technologies and Cinergy Telecommunications, in 2011, and issued a superseding indictment in 2012. Cruz and Zurita were declared fugitives on March 7, 2013, along with a third defendant, Amadeus Richers, who was arrested on February 23, 2017 (see Ongoing Prosecutions above). Numerous other individuals have been convicted in connection with this matter, including former co-defendants Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez, who unsuccessfully appealed their 2011 convictions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (see Pending Appeals below).
  • Enrique Faustino Aguilar Noriega (DOJ | CDCA 10-1031): Noriega was the Director of Grupo Internacional de Asesores SA, a sales agent hired by Lindsay Manufacturing. The DOJ charged Noriega in 2010, along with Linsday Manufacturing and several other defendants. While Linsday Manufacturing and all the other individuals charged in connection with this case have had the charges against them dropped, Noreiga’s case is still listed as open. While the United States has reportedly ended its efforts to extradite Noriega, he remains a fugitive. 
  • James Tillery (DOJ | SDTX 08-22): The DOJ charged Tillery, a former executive for Willbros International, in 2008. Tillery was reportedly arrested in Nigeria in 2010, but immigration officials prevented the FBI from extraditing him without proper documentation. A Nigerian court later found the initial arrest of Tillery to be illegal and ordered him released. Nigerian police, however, reportedly refused to comply with this request. The status of U.S. efforts to extradite Tillery is unclear. Tillery remains a fugitive.   
  • Edgar Valverde Acosta (DOJ | SDFL 06-20797): The DOJ charged Acosta, the President of Alcatel de Costa Rica and Senior Country Officer for Alcatel Lucent SA in Central America, in 2006. Acosta is considered a fugitive. 
  • Victor Kozeny (DOJ | SDNY 05-518): The DOJ charged Kozeny, a Czech-born investor, in 2005. The United States attempted to extradite Kozeny from the Bahamas for years; however, the Bahamas’ court of last resort, the U.K. Privy Council, rejected the extradition request on March 28, 2012. Kozeny remains a fugitive.  
  • Pablo Barquero Hernandez (DOJ | WDMO 01-190): The DOJ charged Hernandez, a former employee of Owl Securities and Investment, in 2001. Hernandez is considered a fugitive.   
  • Joaquin Pou (DOJ | SDFL 89-802): The DOJ charged Pou, a former agent for AEA Aircraft Recovery, in 1989. Pou is considered a fugitive. 
  • Ricardo Beltran and Mario Gonzalez (DOJ | SDTX 82-224): The DOJ charged Beltran and Gonzalez, both associated with Grupo Delta, in 1982. Beltran and Gonzalez are considered fugitives. 

FCPA-Related Pending Sentencings

  • Dmitrij Harder (DOJ | EDPA 15-1): The DOJ charged Harder, the former owner and president of the Chestnut Group, on January 6, 2015. Harder pleaded guilty to FCPA-related charges on April 18, 2016. Sentencing is currently set for June 28, 2017.
  • Roberto Rincon and Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas (DOJ | SDTX 15-654): The DOJ charged Rincon and Bastidas, each the owner (together with others) of several closely held oil-related companies, on December 10, 2015. Rincon pleaded guilty to both FCPA-related and non-FCPA charges on June 16, 2016. Bastidas pleaded guilty to FCPA-related and non-FCPA charges on March 22, 2016. Sentencing for both defendants is set for July 14, 2017.
  • Charles Quintard Beech (DOJ | SDTX 17-00006) and Juan Jose Hernandez-Comerma (SDTX 17-00005): The DOJ charged Beech and Hernandez-Comerma, two executives from U.S.-based energy companies on January 4, 2017. Beech and Hernandez-Comerma pleaded guilty on January 10, 2017.  Sentencing for both men is set for July 14, 2017.
  • Douglas Ray (DOJ | SDTX 16-409): The DOJ charged Ray, a Texas businessman, on September 15, 2016. Ray pleaded guilty on October 28, 2016. Sentencing is set for March 30, 2017. Ray’s co-defendants, Victor Hugo Valdez Pinon, Daniel Perez and Kamta Ramnarine, were sentenced earlier this year (see FCPA-Related Dismissals/Recent Sentencings below).
  • Frederic Pierucci (DOJ | DCCN 12-238): The DOJ charged Pierucci, the former Vice-President of Global Sales for Alstom USA, on November 27, 2012. Pierucci pleaded guilty on July 29, 2013. His sentencing was originally scheduled for October 25, 2013, but on that date all deadlines and hearings on the docket were terminated, pending the outcome in the Hoskins’ prosecution (see Ongoing Prosecutions above). His sentencing has not yet been scheduled, but he has been ordered to return to the United States by March 27, 2017.
  • David Rothschild (DOJ | DCCN 12-223): The DOJ charged Rothschild, the former Vice President of Sales of Alstom USA, on November 2, 2012. Rothschild pleaded guilty to the FCPA-related charges on that same day, but his settlement was not unsealed until April 15, 2013. His sentencing has not yet been scheduled, presumably pending the outcome in the Hoskins’ prosecution (see Pierucci above). 
  • Daren Condrey (DOJ | DCMD 15-336): The DOJ charged Condrey, the Principal of Transport Logistics International, on June 16, 2015. Condrey pleaded guilty to the FCPA-related charges on June 17, 2015. Two of Condrey’s co-conspirators, Vadim Mikerin (the former director of Tenex, a subsidiary of Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporations) and Boris Rubizhevsky (a consultant to Mikerin) also pleaded guilty to related money-laundering counts last year, though neither was charged under the FCPA. Sentencing is set for June 1, 2017.. 
  • Samuel Mebiame (DOJ | EDNY 16-627)The DOJ charged Mebiame, the son of a former Prime Minister of Gabon, on August 12, 2016. Mebiame pleaded guilty on December 9, 2016. Sentencing is set for April 6, 2017.
  • Moises Abraham Millan Escobar  (SDTX 16-009): The DOJ filed a criminal information against Escobar, an employee of Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas (see Roberto Rincon and Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas above), on January 7, 2016. Escobar pleaded guilty on January 19, 2016, but the plea agreement remains under seal. On August 30, 2016, the Court entered a $533,578 monetary judgment against Escobar. Sentencing is set for July 14, 2017.

Recent FCPA-Related Dismissals, Sentencings and Denials

  • Rami Dotan and Harold Katz (DOJ | SDOH 194-29): The DOJ charged Dotan, an Israeli Air Force officer, and Katz, an Israeli lawyer, in 1994. After labeling Dotan and Katz as fugitives for decades, the court dismissed the indictments against the men without prejudice on February 23, 2016. 
  • Frerik Pluimers (DOJ | NJ 98-240): The DOJ charged Pluimers, the former President and CEO of Saybolt International, in 1988. After labeling Pluimers a fugitive for decades, the court dismissed the indictment against him without prejudice on March 13, 2015.
  • William Pomponi  (DOJ | DCCN 12-238): The DOJ originally charged Pomponi, the former Vice President of Regional Sales for Alstom's SA's US subsidiary, on April 30, 2013 and then issued a superseding indictment adding Lawrence Hoskins, the former President of Alstom Asia, on July 30, 2013.  Pomponi initially pleaded not guilty to FCPA-related charges on May 3, 2013, but then changed his plea to guilty on July 17, 2014. Pomoni died on May 24, 2016, and the case against him was dismissed on July 19, 2016.  
  • Victor Hugo Valdez Pinon (DOJ | SDTX 16-409): The DOJ charged Pinon, a Mexican businessman, on August 16, 2016.  Pinon pleaded guilty to FCPA-related charges on October 26, 2016, and was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and restitution of $90,783.50 on February 23, 2017.
  • Daniel Perez and Kamta Ramnarine (DOJ | SDTX 16-1164): The DOJ charged Perez and Ramnarine, both businessmen from Texas, on August 16, 2016. Both defendants pleaded guilty to FCPA-related charges on November 2, 2016, and each was sentenced to three years' probation on February 2, 2017.
  • Richard Hirsch and James McClung (DOJ | DCNJ 15-358 and DCNJ 15-357): The DOJ charged Hirsch and McClung, both former Senior Vice Presidents for Louis Berger International, on July 17, 2015.  Each pleaded guilty to FCPA-related charges on July 20, 2015. Hirsch was fined $10,000 and sentenced to two years' probation on July 8, 2016, while McClung was sentenced to a year and a day in prison on July 17, 2016.
  • Joel Esquenazi and Carlos Rodriguez (DOJ | SDFL 09-21010; 11th Cir. 11-15331): The DOJ charged Esquenazi and Rodriguez, the former President and Vice-President of Terra Telecommunications, in December 2009. Esquenazi and Rodriguez were convicted at trial in August 2011. On October 25, 2011, the pair was sentenced to 15 years and 7 years, respectively. They appealed their convictions to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, which upheld the jury verdicts on May 16, 2014. Rodriguez continued to contest his conviction, first filing a Rule 33 motion for a new trial, which the Court denied on September 2, 2015, and then filing a motion for reconsideration based on "actual innocence,” which the Court denied on December 4, 2015. Rodriguez appealed these denials to the 11th Circuit, filing notices of appeal on December 15, 2015, and February 5, 2016. The appeals were denied on December 15, 2016 and May 25, 2016, respectively. There are no other pending appeals at this time.

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Marc Alain Bohn is a contributing editor of the FCPA Blog and an editor of Miller & Chevalier's FCPA Winter Review 2017. Christine Ciambella is a Librarian at Miller & Chevalier.