Charles Duross: FCPA reform, DOJ trials and the revolving door


What matters were you particularly proud to have been involved in during your time at the DoJ?

I’m proud of all of it but I think there are probably a couple of specific matters that stand out in my mind. The first was the Congressman William Jefferson case, which I investigated, indicted and tried. For any prosecutor, that level of battle, when it’s that epic, that’s certainly one that stands out. We went to the Supreme Court twice before we went to trial. Then we went back to the Supreme Court once after trial. Going to the Supreme Court before trial, or even going to appeal before trial, is a pretty rare thing. That at least gives you a sense of the importance of the issues that we were grappling with both in terms of the case itself but also the law surrounding congressmen.

It was both a domestic political corruption case and a foreign bribery case. The congressman was receiving bribes from constituents, to perform a variety of different official acts. And then in addition to domestic corruption there was an FCPA violation, which was the first time in history a member of congress has been charged with that. And there was the money that was famously found in his freezer, US$90,000. It was actually money that was supposed to go to the vice president of Nigeria at the time.

Originally published in Global Investigations Review.

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