Yesterday a federal judge threw out the government’s first-ever trial and conviction of a corporation accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”). Citing numerous instances of prosecutorial misconduct, United States District Judge A. Howard Matz of the Central District of California not only vacated the conviction of Lindsey Manufacturing Co. and two of its executives, but also dismissed the government’s indictment with prejudice.
The defendants in Lindsey were accused of violating the FCPA by giving bribes to two high-ranking employees of Comisión Federal de Electricidad (“CFE”), an electric utility company wholly owned by the Mexican government. The Lindsey case brought headlines earlier this year when defendants unsuccessfully challenged the government’s characterization of CFE as an “instrumentality” of the Mexican government and CFE’s employees as foreign officials.
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