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FCPA Sting Case – Reports Indicate Jury Has Found Two Defendants Not Guilty, But Remain Deadlocked on Remaining Three

Posted in Criminal Charges in Securities Cases, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Four separate websites have reported this afternoon that two of the defendants in the FCPA Sting or "Shot Show" case have been acquitted and Judge Richard Leon has stated that he would declare a mistrial if the jury is unable to reach a verdict as to the remaining three defendants. Specifically, C. M. Matthews and Joseph Palazzolo of the Wall Street Journal, Professor Mike Koehler of the FCPA Professor Blog, Mary Jacoby of Main Justice and Richard Cassin of the FCPA Blog all reported this afternoon that the jury found Patrick Caldwell and John Godsey not guilty, but remained hung as to John and Jeana Mushriqui and Mark Morales.

The trial which began on September 26, 2011, originally involved 6 of the 22 defendants charged with conspiring to violate the FCPA, violating the FCPA and conspiring to launder money stemming from events when the defendants met an informant who claimed to be an agent for an Gabonese Minister and the defendants met with and agreed to bribe the "Minister," who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. An earlier trial of 4 of the 22 defendants resulted in a July 2011 mistrial (as described here).

As discussed here, on December 22, 2011, Judge Leon dismissed Count 1 (conspiracy to violate the FCPA) as to all six defendants in and dismissed the Government’s case in its entirety against one defendant, Stephen Giordanella. The remaining defendants moved for a mistrial, arguing that they were prejudiced by the admission of evidence regarding the now-dismissed conspiracy count, but Judge Leon denied that Motion on January 9, 2012 (as discussed here).

According to the reports, after the acquittal of Messrs. Caldwell and Godsey, Judge Leon instructed the jury to continue its deliberations as to Mr. and Ms. Mushriqui and Mr. Morales.  However, the Judge also stated in Court today that if the jury remains hung as to those three, he would declare a mistrial.