Gregory A. Brower is a Shareholder with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP in Las Vegas, NV and Washington, DC. Mr. Brower also serves on WLF Legal Policy Advisory Board and is the WLF Legal Pulse’s Featured Expert Contributor, White Collar Crime and Corporate Compliance

The same federal district court judge who presided over last year’s trial of former Alstom executive Lawrence Hoskins, which resulted in Hoskins’ conviction on several Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and other charges, recently set aside the verdict, at least with respect to the FCPA counts. The judge granted a defense motion for judgement of acquittal or, in the alternative, a new trial, adding some confusion to the question of what evidence is adequate to prove that someone is acting as an agent of an entity that is subject to the FCPA.1

Hoskins, a British citizen was employed by Alstom UK Limited, a part of the French parent company, but he worked primarily for Alstom Resource Management SA, a French subsidiary of Alstom. The charges stemmed from a power-plant project in Indonesia that involved both an Indonesian subsidiary of Alstom and a U.S.-based subsidiary named Alstom Power Inc. (“API”). U.S. prosecutors alleged that consultants hired by Alstom bribed Indonesian government officials in an effort to secure certain government contracts. In 2012, a federal grand jury in Connecticut indicted Hoskins charging that he initiated the bribery scheme on behalf of API, which as a U.S. subsidiary of Alstom is a “domestic concern” for FCPA liability purposes. Prosecutors further alleged that even though API didn’t actually employ Hoskins, he could and did serve as API’s agent for the purpose of facilitating the bribery scheme and, therefore, could be and was guilty of violating the FCPA. A jury convicted him on all but one FCPA-related counts, and also on several money laundering counts.