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Found In Translation

As posted yesterday on the wrageblog here, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is now available in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic. The translations come from the U.S. Department of Commerce through a project headed by Senior Counsel Kathryn Nickerson. As the wrageblog pointed out, “Although the translations are marked ‘unofficial’ we’re told they’re accurate and that they read well. This is a great service to the compliance community.” We agree.

Kudos to Kathryn Nickerson and the DOC.

* * *
Too much love, Jefferson says. Federal Judge Tim Ellis this week denied former Congressman William Jefferson’s request for a new trial. A copy of Judge Ellis’ order can be downloaded here.

Jefferson argued that the jury should have heard evidence about an intimate relationship between an FBI agent working on Jefferson’s case and Lori Mody. She was the government’s informant who secretly taped her conversations with Jefferson about bribing Nigeria’s vice president. Ellis, however, said disclosure to the jury wasn’t necessary because the government didn’t enter into evidence any of her statements about the contents of meetings that were not secretly recorded by the FBI. Mody herself didn’t testify at the trial.

Four days before jury selection began, lead FBI agent Timothy Thibault disclosed that agent John Guandolo, who was the undercover driver for Lori Mody, had been involved in a sexual relationship with her during the FBI’s investigation. Judge Ellis ruled that evidence of the relationship was not relevant to any issues at the trial and therefore would not have been admissible.

Presumably Jefferson will raise the issue again on appeal. He’s saying evidence of the relationship goes to the credibility of the FBI and witnesses it interviewed. Whatever happens, there was at least the appearance of impropriety . . . .

Separately, some are asking whether Jefferson was convicted of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act or acquitted. It’s a good question. Here’s what happened:

The jury acquitted him on Count 11 of the indictment — the only substantive FCPA charge he faced. The jury convicted Jefferson on Count 1 of the indictment. It alleged three separate illegal conspiracies — to solicit bribes, deprive citizens of honest services, and violate the FCPA. The jury’s verdict form did not require it to specify which of the three illegal conspiracies the panel believed he engaged in. So Jefferson’s conviction on Count 1 may or may not have included the jury’s finding that he conspired to violate the FCPA. There’s no way to tell without polling the jury and, as far as we know, that didn’t happen.

So a guilty verdict will be recorded for Count 1 of the indictment. That means all three conspiracies alleged are presumed to be proven, including the FCPA-related charge.

Read prior posts about William Jefferson here.

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