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David Krakoff and Lauren Randell Obtain Mistrial for Defendant in FCPA Sting Trial in DC Federal Court

David S. Krakoff, Lauren R. Randell

Following a nearly four-month trial and over two weeks of jury deliberations, partner David Krakoff and counsel Lauren Randell successfully obtained a mistrial for John Mushriqui in one of the highest profile Foreign Corrupt Practices Act cases ever brought by the Department of Justice, and the largest FCPA trial ever held.

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 Mr. Mushriqui, his sister Jeana Mushriqui, and Marc Morales. Following a vigorous defense on Mr. Mushriqui’s behalf, the jury ultimately split 9 to 3 in favor of finding Mr. Mushriqui not guilty. The prior day, the jury acquitted two other defendants, Patrick Caldwell and Greg Godsey, 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-conducted sting operation, widely touted by the government as the first undercover sting operation by the DOJ and FBI targeting alleged payments to foreign officials, 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, ten defendants have gone to trial regarding the Gabon deal sting; three have been acquitted, and seven have proceeded to a hung jury.

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