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U.S. v. Paz

 
:
Paz, Ofer
:
DOJ Civil
:
December 11, 2009
:
U.S. v. Paz
:
U.S. v. Paz, No. 1:09-cr-00339 (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.
:
Ofer Paz was the President and Chief Executive Officer of an Israel-based company that acts as a sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries. He 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.

Paz agreed to two contracts to sell explosive detection kits to the Ministry of Defense of the unnamed African country, 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 Paz 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 Paz with conspiring to violate the FCPA, substantive violations of the FCPA, aiding and abetting 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. Initially, the DOJ did not charged a single conspiracy but a number of separate conspiracies. On April 16, 2010, however, the DOJ filed a superseding indictment alleging a single overarching conspiracy against the 22 defendants.

Four defendants, Pankesh Patel, Andrew Bigelow, John Benson Weir, and Lee Allen Tolleson, went to trial in mid-May 2011, but due to the jury's inability to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared on July 7, 2011. Caldwell, along with the rest of the second group of defendants (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, 2012, 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.

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.
:
Dismissal
:
Not stated.
:
0
:
Other Person
:
CEO, President
:
Foreign
:
Israel
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
15,000,000
:
Wire/check
:
Sales Agent/Consultant
:
Not stated.
:
United States
:
United States
:
No
:
No