More on the Greens. In February 2008 we said: “We’re not privy to the Greens’ defense, of course, but they appear to have a tough legal battle ahead of them.” As their trial was about to begin this week, it was postponed. According to the AP, the Justice Department blamed the one-week delay on “the availability of a prosecution witness.” Trial delays aren’t unusual. But could the Greens be trying to work out a plea?
As we’ve said, Perry Mason’s clients never ended up behind bars. But real-life FCPA defendants aren’t so lucky. Most accused individuals have plea-bargained to reduce or avoid jail time — FCPA convictions carry a prison term of up to five years. And consider this: Since 1991, not a single FCPA trial has ended with an acquittal.
The Greens — husband-and-wife Hollywood movie-producers Gerald and Patricia — are also charged with conspiracy, money laundering, obstruction, and filing false tax returns. He’s 76, she’s 54, and if convicted on some or all counts they could spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Jury selection in U.S. v. Green is scheduled to start on August 25.
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About those FCPA jury instructions. Responding to this week’s post, The Feds Should Take A Meeting, a reader said:
I’m not sure the Professor’s criticism of the Bourke instructions on jurisdiction are well-founded. Although the statutory charging language in the conspiracy count does allege that the conspiracy continued to in or about 1999, only two of the overt acts took place after the 1998 amendments were signed into law. One was a trip to Azerbaijan in January 1999 by Farrell and the other a trip in February 1999 by Bourke. Both of these trips are described as being for the purpose of meeting with Azeri officials concerning the privatization investment, but the government did not set out any particular acts in furtherance of the bribery scheme. Moreover, in the original indictment, none of the substantive FCPA counts involved transactions after November 10, 1998. Thus, it is likely that the government chose to play it safe and had the court instruct on the pre-amendment jurisdictional element.
But the pre-1998 jurisdictional instruction wouldn’t be needed in U.S. v. Green, where the alleged offending behavior took place from 2002 to 2007.
The jury instructions from United States v. Bourke, S1 05 Cr. 418 (SAS) (S. D. N. Y.) can be downloaded here.
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Turks and Caicos-shire. Last Friday, Britain suspended the territory’s political institutions and imposed direct rule. A U.K. report (available here) alleged systematic corruption among Turks and Caicos’ leading politicians and their friends. A U.K.-appointed governor is now in charge.
In an AP report, former premier Galmo Williams said, “Our country is being invaded and re-colonized by the United Kingdom, dismantling a duly elected government and legislature and replacing it with a one-man dictatorship.”
Turks and Caicos is a British Overseas Territory about 500 miles southeast of Florida. Its 25,000 residents have U.K. passports. Its beaches attract around 300,000 tourists a year.
British Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant said the suspension could last up to two years while governor Gordon Wetherell “puts the Islands’ affairs back in good order,” according to the AP. Elections for a new government will be held by July 2011, Bryant said.
Meanwhile, will the U.K.’s audit into the government’s accounts reveal any FCPA compliance problems for investors in T & C during its former home-rule regime?