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Historic Test For FCPA In Lindsey Trial

Defense attorney Jan Handzlik: The prosecutors will now have to prove their case against Lindsey Manufacturing and its officers. Jan Handzlik, the lawyer defending Lindsey Manufacturing and Dr. Keith Lindsey, told us what’s happening in the case against his clients, in which Steve K. Lee and Angela Aguilar are also defendants.

He said:

“The DOJ’s FCPA Unit is accustomed to targets of its investigations caving-in and succumbing to threats of prosecution, especially companies. There have been very few challenges to the DOJ’s authority under the FCPA since it was passed in 1977. In addition, Lindsey Manufacturing is the first company to fight FCPA charges for several years. Unlike in the vast majority of the DOJ’s FCPA cases, the prosecutors will now have to prove their case against Lindsey Manufacturing and its officers.

“FCPA law has not been developed through court decisions. Rather, the FCPA has been ‘interpreted’ and ‘construed’ by the DOJ through guilty pleas, deferred prosecution agreements and whatever it has said the statute means. Some of the central provisions of the Act have never been tested in the courts, such as the terms ‘instrumentalities’ and ‘foreign officials.’

“The DOJ greatly expanded the FCPA by applying it to employees of entities owned by foreign governments. In fact, fully 60% of the DOJ’s FCPA cases involve allegations of bribes made to employees of corporations owned by foreign governments. It’s high time a federal court decided if this expansive interpretation of the law is warranted.

“The jury has been selected and sworn in, so the case is in trial. This means that the double jeopardy provision of the Fifth Amendment has attached to the defendants.

“If on Friday [April 1] the Judge grants the Lindsey defendants’ motion to dismiss the indictment, the case against Lindsey Manufacturing, Dr. Lindsey and Mr. Lee will be over. The government will be unable to appeal. Of course, if the Lindsey defendants lose the motion, the trial will proceed. We will then see if the government can prove CFE was an arm of the Mexican government.”

Judge A. Howard Matz is presiding over the case — U.S. v. Noriega et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Western Division – Los Angeles), Case #: 2:10-cr-01031-AHM-4.

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. Angela Aguilar is represented by Stephen G. Larson of Garardi Keese.

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