Jump to content Jump to menu
Why Register?

Shearman FCPA Website: Cases Logo Shearman & Sterling LLP FCPA.Shearman.com: The One-Stop Resource on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

U.S. v. Ashiblie

 
:
Ashiblie, Helmie
:
DOJ Criminal
:
December 11, 2009
:
U.S. v. Ashiblie
:
U.S. v. Ashiblie, No. 09-cr-347 (D.D.C. 2009)
:
According to the DOJ, this case (also known as the SHOT-Show case) is part of the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals in the history of the DOJ's enforcement of the FCPA and the first large-scale use of undercover law enforcement techniques to uncover FCPA violations. Undercover agents posed as representatives of the Minister of Defense of a country in Africa.
:
Aerospace/Defense
:
2009
:
None, undercover agents in an FBI sting.
:
Helmie Ashiblie, the Vice President and Founder of a Virginia company supplying tactical bags and other security equipment for law enforcement agencies and governments, is one of 22 executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement equipment industry indicted for engaging in a scheme to bribe foreign government officials. FBI agents arrested 21 of the defendants in Las Vegas during an industry conference. A business associate facilitated introductions with undercover FBI agents posing as representatives or procurement officers for the Minister of Defense of an unnamed African country.

Ashiblie allegedly agreed to pay a sales agent a 20% commission to obtain two contracts to outfit the African country's presidential guard, knowing that half the "commission" would be paid as a bribe to the Minister of Defense and half would be split between the sales agent and the business associate who facilitated the introduction. The DOJ alleges Ashiblie made a "commission" payment to a bank account in the U.S. as test sale for the purpose of winning the larger contract.

According to media reports, Richard T. Bistrong is the individual, unnamed in the indictments, who facilitated introductions between the undercover FBI agents and the 22 indicted individuals. On January 21, 2010, the DOJ charged Bistrong with conspiracy to violate the FCPA. On December 11, 2009, the DOJ obtained an indictment charging Ashiblie with conspiring to violate the FCPA, substantive violations of the FCPA, and conspiring to engage in money laundering. The indictment seeks forfeiture of any proceeds traceable to FCPA offenses or money laundering. At the present time, the DOJ has not charged a single conspiracy but a number of separate conspiracies; at a hearing in February 2010, however, the DOJ stated that it may supersede with an indictment alleging a single overarching conspiracy.

On February 3, 2010, Ashiblie pleaded not guilty. Trial has yet to be scheduled.

Meanwhile, four defendants have pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the FCPA: Richard Bistrong on September 16, 2010, Daniel Alvirez, on March 11, 2011, Jonathan Spiller on March 29, 2011, and Haim Geri on April 28, 2011. None of these defendants have yet been sentenced.

Four other defendants, Pankesh Patel, Andrew Bigelow, John Benson Weir, and Lee Allen Tolleson, went to trial in mid-May, but due to the jury's inability to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared on July 7, 2011. The second group of defendants (Patrick Caldwell, John Mushriqui, Jeana Mushriqui, Stephen Giordanella, John Godsey, and Marc Morales) went to trial on September 28, 2011. In December 2011, the judge dismissed the conspiracy charges against the second group of defendants, and thus completely exonerated Giordanella. On January 30, the jury found Godsey and Caldwell not guilty. On January 31, 2012, a mistrial was declared as to the rest of the defendants in the second group.

On February 21, 2012, Judge Richard Leon dismissed the entire case, after the government asked him to dismiss the case with prejudice.
:
Aiding and abetting anti-bribery, Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
:
Conspiracy - Money Laundering
:
Dismissal
:
Not stated.
:
0
:
Domestic Concern
:
Founder, Other Senior Officer
:
U.S.
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
15,000,000
:
Wire/check
:
Sales Agent/Consultant
:
Not stated.
:
United States
:
United States
:
No
:
No