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Harry Cassin
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Jury Still At Work In Second Africa Sting Trial

At four in the afternoon on Thursday last week, a jury began deliberating the fate of five Africa sting defendants.

R. Patrick Caldwell, John Mushriqui, Jeana Mushriqui, John Godsey, and Marc Morales are on trial for substantive FCPA violations and money laundering. A sixth defendant, Stephen G. Giordanella, was acquitted in the case last month before it went to the jury.

The trial took more than three months before the jury started deliberating last Thursday.

This week the jury had MLK Day off and went back to work on Tuesday.

People in and around the federal courthouse in the District of Columbia say the jury has asked for a lot of exhibits but asked few questions.

Late yesterday, however, the panel asked to see the Attorney General’s guidelines for undercover operations. Twenty-two defendants, including those now on trial, were arrested after a two-and-a-half year undercover “sting” operation by FBI agents and a cooperating witness, Richard Bistrong.

Because the Attorney General’s undercover guidelines were never entered into evidence at the trial, the jury won’t receive them.

They also asked for phone records for a couple of the defendants. It’ll probably take at least a day for the jury to examine the phone records. That means a verdict is less likely today but could happen Monday.

The first Africa sting trial ended in September with a hung jury, forcing the judge to declare a mistrial. The DOJ has said it will retry Pankesh Patel, Andrew Bigelow, John Benson Weir, and Lee Allen Tolleson.

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