Bourke Conspiracy Conviction Upheld

14 December 2011 Publication

On December 14, 2011, Frederic Bourke’s Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) conspiracy conviction was upheld by the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. For more information on the conviction, see our previous post here.

In the appeal, Bourke argued that the trial court gave a wrong jury instruction regarding the issue of “conscious disregard” under the knowledge requirements of the FCPA. The court held that a “rational juror could conclude that Bourke deliberately avoided confirming his suspicions” regarding bribes and that the same evidence could be used “to infer that Bourke actually knew about the” bribes.

Bourke also asked the trial court to grant a new trial, arguing that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) knowingly allowed a key witness to testify falsely about when he and Bourke allegedly discussed bribes going to government officials in Azerbaijan. On December 15, 2011, the trial court held that the witness was “obviously mistaken” in his recollection of the details of his discussion with Bourke but that the jury could still credit the witness’s testimony about the substance of the conversation.

Click here to see a copy of the December 15, 2011 order.