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« Bigger And Better: Hughes Hubbard's 2011 Spring Alert | Main | Jury Mulls Fate of Four Shot Show Defendants »
Tuesday
Jun282011

Lindsey Judge 'Shocked' By Gov't Conduct

Lawyers for Lindsey Manufacturing and two of its executives discovered yesterday that the government failed to turn over a grand jury transcript containing testimony of FBI agent Susan Guernsey.

She was the FBI case agent whose grand jury testimony was the basis of the pending motion to dismiss the indictment for government misconduct, due to what the defense asserts was her false and misleading grand jury testimony.

When U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz learned the news at a hearing on Monday, he said the parties should file new briefs on whether the Lindsey defendants' convictions should be dismissed.

On May 10, a jury convicted Lindsey Manufacturing, CEO Keith Lindsey, and CFO Steve Lee on one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and five substantive FCPA violations.

“I am shocked,” Judge Matz told Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Miller, according to Law 360. Miller said he had inadvertently violated an order to turn over all transcripts of Agent Guernsey's grand jury testimony.

During the trial, the DOJ said a Mexican sales agent helped arrange millions in bribes from California-based Lindsey Manufacturing to Nestor Moreno, an official at the Mexican state-owned electric utility Comisión Federal de Electridad (CFE). The bribes were allegedly paid in exchange for contracts to Lindsey from CFE.

The wife of Lindsey's Mexican sales agent, Angela Aguilar, was convicted of conspiracy to launder money.

On June 3, she was sentenced to time-served (about nine months in custody without bail since her August arrest in Houston), probation, a lifting of the immigration hold placed on her last August, immediate release from prison, immediate return to Mexico, and no fine. She agreed not to contest the government's seizure of about $3 million in family assets.

Law 360 said Judge Matz yesterday "ran through a list 'by no means inclusive' of troubling government conduct reflecting 'a sloppy investigation and prosecution' that he said would need to be assessed." His list included warrantless searches of two buildings, improperly obtained emails and game-playing with regard to the government’s witness list.

He vacated a September 16 sentencing date for the Lindsey defendants and will hear arguments on their motion to dismiss on September 8.

Keith Lindsey, 66, and Steve Lee, 60, face a maximum penalty of thirty years in prison.

______________

Judge A. Howard Matz is presiding over the Los Angeles case -- U.S. v. Noriega et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California (Western Division - Los Angeles), Case #: 2:10-cr-01031-AHM-4.

Jan L. Handzlik of Greenberg Traurig is defending Lindsey Manufacturing and Dr. Keith Lindsey. Steve K. Lee is represented by Janet Levine of Crowell & Moring.

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