Miami, Fla. - In December, Carlton Fields shareholders Stephen J. Bronis and Paul A. Calli obtained the acquittal of client Stephen Giordanella in the largest foreign bribery case in U.S. history. After a 12-week jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Judge Richard J. Leon entered a judgment acquitting Mr. Giordanella of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), finding that the evidence was insufficient to send his case to the jury. Mr. Giordanella was the only one of the six accused individuals to be acquitted at that stage of the case. The media continues to cover this case as evidenced in today's Washington Post.
The article, "Racy, vulgar texts hurt Justice Department's largest sting operation targeting foreign bribery," discusses how the FBI agents and their key informant involved in the case, sent inappropriate text messages to one another during their investigation.
Washington Post reporter Del Quentin Wilber wrote:
"When arrests were announced by the Justice Department, the agents and informant basked in positive press. 'It's like an atomic mushroom cloud,' the informant gloated in a text to his FBI handler. Since reaching court, however, there hasn't been much to brag about ... federal prosecutors failed to win a single conviction. One reason for the courtroom setbacks can be traced to the ribald texts exchanged between the informant and his FBI handlers."
Calli told the Post that the text messages showed that "the FBI had established no appropriate boundaries" with the informant.
The foreman of the jury, who recently spoke out about the case on the FCPA Professor Blog and discussed the jury’s total rejection of the prosecution theory, agreed with Calli and told the Post that the texts hurt the agents' credibility and that the investigation was run poorly.
READ: The Washington Post's "Racy, vulgar texts hurt Justice Department's largest sting operation targeting foreign bribery"