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Monday
Dec122011

DOJ Tosses Aguilar's Conviction, Pending Appeal

The government last week agreed to vacate Angela Aguilar's conviction pending its appeal of the judge's order to dismiss the indictments against her co-defendants.

Aguilar, 56, a Mexican citizen, was convicted in May with the Lindsey and Lee defendants. She was charged with conspiracy to launder money. After her conviction, she faced up to twenty years in prison.

Earlier this month, Judge Howard Matz dismissed the indictments against Lindsey Manufacturing, Keith Lindsey, and Steve K. Lee after they were convicted of conspiracy and substantive FCPA counts. The judge cited misconduct by the prosecution. The DOJ said last week it plans to appeal the dismissal.

Aguilar's indictment wasn't dismissed by the judge's ruling. Unlike the Lindsey and Lee defendants, she didn't fight her conviction. Instead she agreed in June to a sentencing deal with the feds that required her to forfeit $3 million in family assets but released her from federal detention and allowed her to return to Mexico.

But the DOJ last week voluntarily tossed her conviction based on the judge's decision about the Lindsey and Lee defendants.

'We are delighted that Angela Aguilar will be given the opportunity to have her conviction set aside, if the Lindsey dismissal is upheld,' said Jan Handzlik of Venable LLP, the lawyer for the Lindsey defendants. 'The government should be commended for agreeing to this.'

Aguilar's husband, Enrique Faustino Aguilar Noriega, 56, of Cuernavaca, Mexico, was also charged in the case. He faced a seven-count indictment for conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, four substantive FCPA violations, money laundering conspiracy, and money laundering. He didn't appear at the trial and is a fugitive in Mexico.

The couple allegedly laundered money used to bribe an official of the Mexican state-owned electric utility, Comisión Federal de Electridad (CFE), on behalf of Lindsey Manufacturing. The indictment alleged that Noriega bought a yacht for $1.8 million and a Ferrari for $297,500 for a CFE official. He was also charged with paying more than $170,000 of American Express bills and sending about $600,000 to the CFE official's relatives.

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