Bourke Found Guilty of Conspiracy to Violate the FCPA

16 July 2009 Publication

In July, 2009, a federal jury found Frederic Bourke, Jr. guilty of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and the Travel Act and of making false statements to the FBI for his role in a scheme to bribe foreign officials in Azerbaijan in connection with the privatization of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan ("SOCAR"). According to a DOJ release announcing the jury verdict, evidence presented at trial established that Bourke and others, including Czech investor Viktor Kozeny, conspired to pay or caused to be paid millions of dollars in bribes to Azeri officials to ensure that their investment consortium, in secret partnership with the Azeri officials, would gain a controlling interest in SOCAR and its substantial oil reserves. The DOJ release also describes how Bourke arranged for two of the Azeri officials to travel to New York City to receive medical treatment (paid for by a company in which Bourke was heavily invested) and how Bourke provided false testimony to FBI officials investigating the bribery scheme.

Kozeny was indicted along with Bourke in October 2005 for his role in the bribery scheme. According to the DOJ release, Kozeny is currently a fugitive.

Bourke is scheduled to be sentenced in October 2009. He faces a maximum five-year prison term on each of the two counts and a criminal fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the violations. The jury acquitted Bourke of a money-laundering charge.

Insights