CORPORATE CRIME REPORTER
Jury Foreman in FCPA Africa Sting Case Goes Public, Calls on Feds to Drop the Case
26 Corporate Crime Reporter 7, February 10, 2012
The jury foreman in the second Africa Sting case is a non practicing lawyer.
And an aspiring writer.
And he’s just taken to the blogosphere to explain why last week the jury he led put the brakes on a Justice Department Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) prosecution.
In an anonymous post on Mike Koehler’s FCPA Professor blog, the jury foreman calls on the Justice Department to not pursue the case after a mistrial was declared last week.
(It’s called the Africa Sting case because the 22 defendants were arrested in a sting operation at a Las Vegas gun show – called the Shot Show convention – and the FBI agents participating in the sting were posing as agents who were going to sell weapons to Gabon. Judge Richard Leon divided the case into four trials. The first trial in July 2011 resulted in a mistrial. And Judge Leon threw out certain of the charges against the defendants. The second trial ended last week with the acquittal of three defendants and a hung jury on three.)
“The government has the option to try (the three defendants) again,” the jury foreman wrote. “As a taxpayer, I sincerely hope they will instead dismiss the charges. The evidence simply does not exist, even if they get their witnesses to behave better under cross, to convict. This is a case that makes one wish that a super majority was sufficient to acquit. Prolonging this prosecution is a waste of government resources.”
The foreman says that at one point during the deliberations, he described the government’s sting and prosecution as a “quarterback sneak.”
“Although I came to regret that analogy for the frequency with which it was recalled in the jury room, I think it apt,” he writes. “The FBI and the Department of Justice designed a play to get the ball just across the goal line. Unfortunately, in the ensuing pileup, no camera angle shows the ball with clarity and it is anyone’s guess as to whether they scored.”
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