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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

D.C. Federal Judge Declares Mistrial For Three Remaining Defendants In Second FCPA Sting Case Trial


Financial Crimes

On January 31, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia declared a mistrial after a federal jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict on foreign bribery charges against John Mushriqui, Jeana Mushriqui, and Marc Morales, in one of the highest profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) cases ever brought by the DOJ. BuckleySandler represented John Mushriqui at the nearly four-month jury trial. One day prior to the court declaring a mistrial, the jury acquitted two other defendants of the same charges. At the end of 2011, following the close of the prosecution's evidence, Judge Leon acquitted all defendants of related conspiracy charges, sending one defendant home entirely, and acquitted the Mushriquis of two of the five substantive FCPA charges pending against them. The defendants were charged with paying bribes to a purported government official from the country of Gabon, in connection with contracts to supply Gabon with military and law enforcement products. The Federal Bureau of Investigation's sting operation resulted in the arrests of twenty-two individuals at an industry trade show in Las Vegas in 2010. The first trial of four other defendants also ended in a mistrial in July 2011. Between the two trials regarding the Gabon deal sting, three defendants have been acquitted and seven have proceeded to a hung jury.