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Judge throws out FCPA charges against executive

The decision is one in a string of setbacks for the DOJ

On Monday, a federal judge laid down a ruling basically pooh-poohing the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) foreign corruption team, the third such ruling in two months. The judge exonerated John O’Shea, a former manager of Swiss Engineering Co. who was accused of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Wall Street Journal reports.

Judge Lynn N. Hughes dismissed the 12 FCPA counts and one conspiracy count against O’Shea, who was arrested in November 2009 and accused of funneling bribes to Mexico through an intermediary in order to win contracts. The alleged intermediary was the government’s key witness and, according to the release, Hughes said he did not believe the witness could tie O’Shea to the crimes. O’Shea’s company pleaded guilty to FCPA violations in 2010.

In December 2011, another FCPA defendant was exonerated by a federal judge in Washington, D.C., and in Los Angeles, a judge threw out the first-ever conviction under the FCPA of Lindsey Manufacturing Co., and claimed the DOJ mishandled the case.

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