Lindsey Manufacturing Company -- Aguilar Noriega, Enrique Faustino
December 29, 2009
U.S. v. Noriega et al.
U.S. v. Noriega, et al., 10-1031 (C.D. Ca. 2010)
Lindsey, Keith E.; Lindsey Manufacturing Company; Lee, Steve K.;
Enrique Faustino Aguilar Noriega is also charged under two money laundering counts. The underlying criminal activity alleged in support of the money laundering counts are (1) violations of the FCPA and (2) violation of Mexican domestic anti-bribery law.
The district court issued a protective order that the government shall disclose to defense counsel materials obtained from the government's investigation into ABB Ltd.
2002; 2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007; 2008; 2009
Current and former director of operations of Comisiòn Federal de Electricidad (“CFE”), a state-owned electrical utility in Mexico.
According to the superseding indictment, two companies associated with Enrique Faustino Aguilar Noriega ("Enrique Aguilar") -- Grupo Internacional de Asesores S.A. (“Grupo”) and Sorvill International S.A. (“Sorvill”) -- purported to provide sales representation to companies with business with Comisiòn Federal de Electricidad (“CFE”), a state-owned utility in Mexico.
One of those companies, co-defendant Lindsey Manufacturing Company ("Lindsey Manufacturing") headquartered in Azusa, California, manufactures emergency restoration systems (“ERSs”) and other equipment used by electrical utility companies.
According to facts presented at the trial, Keith E. Lindsey, the president and majority owner of the company, and Steve K. Lee, its Vice President and CFO, hired Enrique Aquilar to assist in obtaining contracts with CFE based on his personal relationship with the utility’s director of operations.
According to evidence presented at trial, between approximately February 2002 and March 2009, Lindsey Manufacturing paid Enrique Aguilar a 30% commission on contracts it obtained with CFE, knowing that a portion or all of the commission money would be used to pay bribes to foreign government officials. Lindsey and Lee would accordingly raise the price of contracts with CFE to account for the commission payments. Enrique Aguilar submitted false invoices to Lindsey Manufacturing, falsely describing the payments as 15% allocated to commission and 15% allocated to “other services”.
According to the facts stated at trial, between 2002 and 2009, Lindsey Manufacturing wired approximately $5.9 million to the Global Financial brokerage account of Grupo in Texas for the purpose of paying bribes in exchange for the award of CFE contracts to Lindsey Manufacturing.
Using funds in Grupo’s brokerage account at Global Financial and a Swiss bank account belonging to Sorvill, Enrique Aguilar and his wife and co-defendant, Angela Aguilar allegedly paid the credit card bills of the current director of operations, purchased him an $1.8M, 82 foot yacht and a Ferrari Spyder, and transferred $45,000 to his half brother, payments they falsely described as consultant fees.
With respect to the former director of operations, the Aguilars allegedly wired $600,000 from Grupo to relatives of the official, payments made pursuant to false sales representative agreements with the family members.
The first sealed complaint against Enrique Aguilar was filed on December 29, 2009. Enrique Aguilar remains a fugitive. Lindsey Manufacturing, Keith Lindsey, and Keith Lee were convicted on May 10, 2011 of one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and five counts of FCPA violations. Angela Aguilar was convicted of one count of money laundering conspiracy.
On June 3, 2011, Angela Aguilar entered into a post-trial stipulation whereby she agreed to (i) a sentence of time served and a three-year period of supervised release, (ii) waiver of her rights to an appeal of her conviction and sentence, (iii) a criminal forfeiture in the amount of $2,511,553 million, (iv) waive her right to challenge the forefeiture, and (v) voluntarily depature from the United States.
Before sentencing could take place for the other defendants, lawyers for Lindsey Manufacturing, Keith Lindsey, and Steve Lee moved to dismiss the indictments on the basis of intentional prosecutorial misconduct. The defendants alleged that the government allowed an FBI agent to make false statements to the grand jury, obtained search and seizure warrants using affidavits containing false statements, and failed to disclose exculpatory evidence as required under Brady v. Maryland. On December 1, 2011, the court granted defendants’ motion, citing multiple instances of misconduct by the government. The government filed a notice of appeal to the Ninth Circuit that same day.
The December 1, 2011 order vacated the convictions and dismissed the indictments against the Linsey defendants with prejudice. On December 9, 2011, the government stipulated that it would not enforce Angela Aguilar’s collateral attack waiver if the court’s order of dismissal is affirmed.
In May 2012, the government withdrew its appeal to the Ninth Circuit.