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Supreme Court denies Bourke review

As reported by the SCOTUS Blog, the U.S. Supreme Court Monday denied Frederic Bourke’s petition for certiorari (review) of his 2009 conviction for conspiracy to violate the FCPA and lying to FBI agents.

Bourke was sentenced to a year and a day in prison.

He’s been free on bail pending the exhaustion of all his appeals.

Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit denied Bourke’s request for a new trial.

He argued that prosecutors knowingly allowed a key witness to present false testimony to the jury.

Bourke had separately appealed in 2011 to the Second Circuit, arguing that the trial judge gave faulty jury instructions on the knowledge standard. He lost that appeal.

The trial court also denied his motion for a new trial.

The key witness against Bourke, who co-founded the Dooney & Bourke luxury handbag brand, was Hans Bodmer, a Swiss lawyer who once worked for Viktor Kozeny. Bourke was accused of joining Kozeny’s conspiracy to bribe officials in Azerbaijan.

Bodmer pleaded guilty in 2004 to a money laundering conspiracy in the scheme. He was sentenced in March to time served.

Bourke had argued that prosecutors allowed Bodmer to testify to important dates in the bribery plot while knowing some of his testimony would be wrong.

At the Supreme Court, Bourke raised issues about the propriety of the trial judge’s jury instructions on ‘conscious disregard’ and ‘willful blindness’ and the knowledge standard under the FCPA.

He also argued against the basis for the jury’s decision on his conspiracy conviction, and whether prosecutors had the right to withhold exculpatory evidence related to Bodmer’s testimony.

With Bourke’s appeals now apparently ended, he faces the prospect of serving his prison sentence.

He was also ordered by the trial judge to pay a $1 million criminal fine.

Bourke’s petition for certiorari, the appellate court opinion, and some of the briefs filed in his case are available from the SCOTUS Blog here.

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