FCPA conspirator of Viktor Kozeny released from jail
Frederic Bourke, the alleged co-conspirator of “the pirate of Prague” Viktor Kozeny in what became a precedent-setting Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ruling, has been released from federal jail in the US March 21.
Bourke, the multi-millionaire co-founder of luxury handbag brand Dooney & Bourke, went to prison in New York for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act oversights that included conscious avoidance with regard to vetting Kozeny’s attempts to bribe officials in Azerbaijan.
Since his 2009 conviction Bourke has essentially become a case study of the US’s hardline stance on “FCPA” (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) prosecutions. Bourke plead of ignorance of Kozeny’s doings in Azerbaijan, but Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors effectively proved that he “consciously disregarded” that such activities were taking place.
Critics of the prosecution noted that evidence against Bourke was largely circumstantial. Prosecutors bolstered their case against Bourke with the “fact” that “Azerbaijan is a corrupt country”.
Bourke undoubtedly suffered simply because his partner was the controversial Viktor Kozeny. Kozeny is a Czech fugitive currently residing in the Bahamas. He first gained notoriety during the privatization of Czech state assets where he allegedly stole millions by running a ponzi scheme under the Harvard Fund where Czechs cashed in their vouchers with promises of high returns.
Kozeny allegedly tunneled millions in voucher funds funds. He is currently on the run from US and Czech authorities although extradition efforts have thus far failed. Kozeny allegedly enticed Bourke with investments in Azerbaijan, but instead he focused his efforts on bribing officials.
Since 2008 the FCPA has increasingly been used as a tool by the American authorities to hand out very large fines to multinationals linked to the US stock market. Significant large FCPA investigations and fines that have originated from the CEE region include cases against Deutsche Telekom, Phillips and the Stryker Corporation.