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Check, Please

Click to enlarge imageWe’ve never written a check for the full price of a new Ferrari F430 Spider. We know: it’s sad.

But Angela Aguilar and her husband allegedly did. Then, the government says, they gave the car to an official from CFE, the Mexican state-owned electric utility. The idea, according to prosecutors, was that CFE would reciprocate by awarding contracts to the Aguilars’ clients.

An affidavit prepared by FBI Special Agent Farrell A. Binder says Enrique Aguilar made a deal for the car. His wife Angela then wrote a check on February 16, 2007 to Ferrari of Beverly Hills for $297,500.

She authorized a man identified in the affidavit as “N.M.” — who’s named in another document as Nestor Moreno — to pick up the car from the dealership. N.M., the affidavit says, was then working for CFE and was therefore a “foreign official” under the FCPA.

The affidavit says in the month before the Ferrari was purchased, Lindsey Manufacturing wired into the Aguilar’s business account $297,038.56. “There were no other wire transfers into Grupo’s Global account during this time period,” Special Agent Binder’s affidavit says, “and all of the wire transfers from L.M. referenced ‘CFE, Mexico’ . . .”

The affidavit was used to show probable cause to arrest Angela Aguilar. It isn’t evidence of guilt, which can only come in a court of law.

Some allegations from the affidavit are reflected in the eight-count superseding indictment of Keith Lindsey, Steve Lee, and Lindsey Manufacturing. They’re charged, along with Enrique Aguilar, with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and substantive FCPA violations. And Angela Aguilar is charged with conspiracy and substantive money laundering counts.

As the DOJ says, an indictment is merely an accusation, and defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Click on the thumbnail above to enlarge the image of the check included as an exhibit to Special Agent Binder’s August 9, 2010 affidavit.

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