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FCPA charge against Portuguese citizen dismissed again

On May 17, 2023, Paulo J.D.C. Casqueiro-Murta, a Portuguese citizen extradited to Houston in July 2021, was granted dismissal by the federal district court in Houston for the second time of his 2019 indictment that charged him with one count of FCPA conspiracy and three related money-laundering counts.

The indictment accused him of helping set up bank accounts to handle bribe payments to officials of Venezuela’s state energy company PDVSA.

In July 2022, the federal district court in Houston dismissed all charges on grounds including lack of jurisdiction, statute of limitations, vagueness of the FCPA “agent” language, and failure to provide a Miranda warning.

The U.S, 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the dismissal and sent the case back for trial.

On May 17, the trial judge again dismissed all charges, on grounds that Murta was denied a speedy trial in violation of the federal speedy trial statute and the Six Amendment.

The DOJ filed a motion to stay the dismissal, which is pending.

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