Year & A Day in FCPA Case - But Will It Hold on Appeal?

White Collar Crime Prof Blog

Lost in this week’s maelstrom of white collar activity – the acquittal of the Bear Stearns bankers, the accusations that Blackwater bribed Iraqi officials, and the sentencing of former Congressman Jefferson this Friday – was the sentencing of handbag mogul turned would-be Caspian petroleum mogul Frederic Bourke. Convicted earlier this summer of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and making false statements to the FBI in connection with his investment in a consortium attempting to purchase the Azerbaijan state-owned oil company ("SOCAR"), Bourke’s trial was straight out of Hollywood and included testimony from a former U.S. Senator, allegations of suitcases full of cash changing hands, and an alleged co-conspirator nicknamed the "Pirate of Prague" who is currently fighting extradition from his estate in the Bahamas while freely admitting he bribed Azeri officials.

In this article, Matt Reinhard discusses the recent Bourke sentence and the "conscious avoidance" standard.

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