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Angela Aguilar Alleges DOJ Misconduct

The Mexican woman held in a California jail since her arrest on FCPA charges in August has alleged that prosecutors withheld from her lawyers information about intercepted phone and email logs and violated her attorney-client and spousal privileges.

Angela Aguilar, 55, filed a motion yesterday to dismiss the indictment against her. A hearing on her motion will be held on Monday afternoon before Judge A. Howard Matz. Her federal trial is set to start in LA on Tuesday.

Aguilar is a co-defendant with Lindsey Manufaturing, Dr. Keith Lindsey, and Steve K. Lee. Aguilar’s husband, Enrique Faustino Aguilar Noriega, has also been indicted but is still at large.

“About one week prior to trial,” Aguilar said in her motion, “on March 21, 2011, in what appears to the defense as an attempt to bury significant information, the government produced telephone records and email logs and summaries thereof (received by the defense on March 22) that reveal that they have intercepted, and may still be intercepting, attorney-client privileged e-mails between defendant Angela Aguilar and her criminal defense counsel . . . .”

The motion said the government intercepted the emails through the email system at the prison where Aguilar is being held.

The DOJ charged her at first with FCPA offenses, later replaced by conspiracy and money laundering counts. Since her arrest in Houston in August and transfer to California, she’s been held without bail at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Los Angeles.

The government thinks her husband, Enrique Faustino Aguilar Noriega, led her into the alleged crimes — helping arrange millions in bribes from Lindsey Manufacturing to officials at the Mexican state-owned electric utility, Comisión Federal de Electridad. Her husband, 56, was charged with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, four substantive FCPA violations, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering. He’s a fugitive, apparently still in Mexico.

Aguilar’s motion said the government has violated her spousal privilege by obtaining both telephone recordings and e-mails between her and her husband.

The motion asks for dismissal of the case against Aguilar or “remedial sanctions,” including suppression of improperly obtained evidence.

The other defendants in the case joined in Aguilar’s motion to make sure improperly obtianed evidence isn’t used against them.

Angela Aguilar is represented by Stephen G. Larson of Garardi Keese. Jan L. Handzlik of Greenberg Traurig is defending Lindsey Manufacturing and Dr. Keith Lindsey. Steve K. Lee is represented by Janet Levine of Crowell & Moring.

Download a copy of the March 24, 2011 motion to dismiss in U.S. v Angela Aguilar et al here.

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