Main Justice has reported that the judge in the shot-show case today declared a mistrial.
Entries in Daniel Alvirez (7)
The Wall Street Journal's Joe Palazzolo reported last night that the jury in the trial of the first four shot-defendants are deadlocked after voting six times in five days, and the judge may declare a mistrial after one more vote by the jury today.
Haim Geri, one of the 22 shot-show defendants, pleaded guilty yesterday in the District of Columbia to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
During the first quarter of 2011, two earlier FCPA-related indictments were disclosed. And there were four corporate actions, four guilty pleas, including two shot-show defendants and the former KBR middleman Jeffrey Tesler, who was hit with the biggest forfeiture order in FCPA history, and two sentencings of individuals to prison.
The government yesterday filed a superseding indictment in the prosecution of the 22 shot-show defendants, charging them under a consolidated grand jury indictment with 44 counts, including conspiracy to violate the FCPA, substantive FCPA offenses, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and aiding and abetting.
Prosecutors proposed trying the defendants in four groups:
The first group: Daniel Alvirez, Lee Allen Tolleson, Andrew Bigelow, Pankesh Patel, John Benson Weir III.
The second group: David Painter, Lee Wares, Jonathan Spiller, Michael Sacks, Israel Weisler.
The third group: Patrick Caldwell, Stephen Giordanella, John Mushriqui, Jeana Mushriqui, John Godsey, Mark Morales.
And the fourth group: Helmie Ashiblie, Yochanan Cohen, Haim Geri, Amaro Goncalves, Saul Mishkin, Ofer Paz.
As reported in March, one of the 22 defendants, Daniel Alvirez, is expected to plead guilty soon to charges of conspiracy to violate the FCPA. Although he's included in yesterday's superseding indictment, the government in March released a two-count superseding information against him alone. An information generally indicates a plea bargain is in the works or already agreed.
Alvirez faces up to five years in prison for each of the two conspiracy counts in the information. He could have faced up to 20 years in jail on the money-laundering charge that was dropped, and five years in prison for each substantive FCPA offense he originally faced.
Alvirez and the other shot-show defendants were first charged in 16 separate indictments. They allegedly plotted with an undercover FBI agent to bribe the minister of defense of an African country.
Download a copy of the superseding indictment released April 19, 2010 in U.S. v. Amaro Goncalves et al here.
As reported Friday, one of the 22 shot-show defendants, Daniel Alvirez, is expected to plead guilty soon to charges of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The government's two-count superseding information alleged that he plotted to bribe defense officials in Africa and the Republic of Georgia.
What to expect now? We asked someone familiar with the evidence, who requested anonymity. Here's what he or she told us:
The government's video and audio tapes are of good quality and the confidential informant, Richard Bistrong, should be an effective witness despite some baggage. Overall, the cases appear to be strong and supported by ample evidence.
There are indications of more foreign bribery involving the military-equipment industry; the allegations in the first 16 indictments (available here) and the superseding information may be the tip of the iceberg.
The Justice Department is seeking to build bigger cases against some current defendants. It may also indict other individuals.
Investigators could also be looking at involvement by some well-known industry leaders -- an Indian military-equipment supplier, three U.S. public companies, and two large private security contractors among them.
Countries and governments involved may include not just Georgia (mentioned in the superseding information) but also Peru, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Guatemala, the Philippines, Colombia, and others. Representatives from some of the countries could be targeted by the Justice Department.
One of the 22 shot-show defendants is expected to plead guilty soon to charges of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by plotting to bribe defense officials in Africa and the Republic of Georgia.
Prosecutors on Friday filed a two-count superseding information against Daniel Alvirez, the former president of Arkansas-based ALS Technologies Inc. It manufacturers ammunition and other military equipment.
Washington, D.C. lawyer Michael Volkov said his client Alvirez will plead guilty soon. "I can confirm that," he told Reuters.
The superseding information alleges that Alvirez, 32, conspired with Lee Allen Tolleson and others to bribe Georgian defense officials to win contracts to sell ammunition and rations. Tolleson, 25, was the director of acquisitions and logistics at ALS Technologies.
Alvirez and the other shot-show defendants were originally charged with conspiracy to violate the FCPA, conspiracy to engage in money laundering, and committing substantive FCPA violations. The 16 indictments covering the 22 defendants alleged that they plotted with an undercover FBI agent to bribe the minister of defense of an African country. The superseding information also alleges that Alvirez and others plotted to bribe Georgian officials through an Israeli sales agent.
One of the shot-show defendants is Ofer Paz, 50, the president and chief executive officer of Paz Logistics, an Israeli company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries
Alvirez may face up to five years in prison for each of the two conspiracy counts. He could have faced up to 20 years in jail on the money-laundering charge that was dropped in the superseding information, and five years in prison for each substantive FCPA offense he originally faced.
As we've said, when the government indicts en masse as in this case, defendants who offer early cooperation usually make out best. They often receive lighter sentences, depending in part on their level of cooperation with prosecutors. See our post here.
Download a copy of the March 5, 2010 superseding information in U.S. v. Daniel Alvirez here.
The original 16 indictments in the case can be downloaded from our post here.