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Updated: Bourke Conviction Upheld On Appeal

Frederic Bourke’s conviction on an FCPA conspiracy was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Bourke was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan in July 2009 of investing in an oil privatization scheme in Azerbaijan despite knowing officials there would be bribed.

He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and fined $1 million.

In his appeal, Bourke argued that the trial court judge gave a wrong jury instruction on the issue of ‘conscious disregard,’ part of the knowledge element under the FCPA.

An excellent account of Bourke’s case and the appeal was reported by Bloomberg’s David Glovin and Patricia Hurtado.

“A rational juror could conclude that Bourke deliberately avoided confirming his suspicions” about bribes, two judges wrote in a 27-page ruling. “This same evidence may also be used to infer that Bourke actually knew about the crimes.”

Bourke’s lawyers are also asking the trial court to grant a new trial. They have argued that the DOJ knowingly allowed a key witness, Hans Bodmer, to testify falsely about when he and Bourke allegedly discussed bribes to officials in Azerbaijan. The appellate court didn’t mention that issue.

Bourke has been free on bail of $10 million pending the outcome of his appeal.

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