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Lewis Sentencing Moves Forward

A hedge fund partner who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA in connection with Viktor Kozeny’s Azeri privatization scheme is now scheduled to be sentenced next year on February 27.

Clayton Lewis was a partner in Omega Advisors, Inc. It  invested and lost about $126 million in Kozeny’s failed deal.

Prosecutors said Lewis knew Kozeny planned to pay bribes but went ahead with the investment anyway. Lewis was arrested in 2003 and two years later pleaded guilty.

He faces up to five years in prison.

Lewis’ sentencing was delayed repeatedly at the request of prosecutors. They wanted him to testify against the Czech-born Kozeny in return for a lighter sentence.

But Kozeny — the so-called Pirate of Prague — fled to the Bahamas in 1999 and lived there as a fugitive. He was arrested in 2005 at the request of the United States but fought against extradition. In March this year, the U.K. privy council backed Kozeny and upheld a lower court in the Bahamas that said he couldn’t be extradited to the U.S. for FCPA offenses.

In Lewis’ case, the DOJ wrote to Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald last week. With Lewis’ consent, prosecutors asked the judge to schedule his sentencing for February 27. Judge Buchwald approved the request on August 24.

The government’s sentencing brief is due by February 13, 2012, and Lewis’ responses are due a week later.

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