The prosecution wanted ten years, the Probation Department recommended two years but the judge sentenced Bourke to a year and a day today (the extra day makes qualified him for early release). And a measly million dollar fine – chump change for a guy like Ric and if he’s short, he can wander across the street and hit up Walt for a loan. Figure with time off for good behavior, that’s eight or nine months of time out – not even long enough to justify a long-term rental of his home on Round Hill. But maybe for next summer ….
Tag Archives: Frederic Bourke trial
He didn’t take the stand, which is standard advice from defense lawyers, but always a disappointment to jurors. It’s been hard to find much coverage of this trial, what with more important matters like Michael Jackson’s fatal drug overdose, but from I could glean, I don’t see that the prosecution had much to begin with and didn’t develop much as the trial progressed. Closing arguments next week, then the verdict, so I guess we’ll see.
You may remember Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan,who was indicted on the last day possible and who then spent years in trial hell. When he was finally acquitted of all charges (the jury deliberated for about 15 minutes after a 9 – month trial), having spent millions of dollars and years of having his life placed on hold, Donovan asked, “where do I go to get my good name back?” No one had the answer to that.
The coverage of the Fred Bourke trial is spotty, but I try to keep up with what there is and there is, so far, nothing there. The prosecution called one of Bourke’s former attorneys as its witness a few days ago and his testimony helped Bourke, not the government. By most accounts, Mr. Bourke is a quirky individual, and perhaps a bit too arrogant and rude for other’s taste. Those aren’t grounds for imprisonment, though, and I am still waiting for the introduction of some evidence that he committed a crime. After a month, the prosecution has produced nothing. What is it waiting for?
So far, the prosecution has presented evidence trying to show that there was a bribery scheme going on over in Azerbaijan but has yet to tie Ric Bourke to that conspiracy. From Bloomberg’s reporting, I’d say even the bribery has yet to be proved, let alone participation by Bourke. I assume that the feds will keep trying and when they have established to their satisfaction, if not the jury’s, that the conspiracy is proved, they’ll move on to proving that Bourke was involved. This could take a long time.
Trial is adjoined until next Monday, the 15th.
Bloomberg’s David Glovin’s got the coverage. Here’s a bit from yesterday’s session:
Thomas Farrell, a top Kozeny aide in Azerbaijan, admitted on cross-examination today that he helped Kozeny steal as much as $80 million from another investor in the deal, hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc. Defense lawyers sought to show that Farrell, who testified last week that Bourke was aware of the bribery scheme, is corrupt and shouldn’t be trusted, and that Bourke is a victim of Kozeny’s alleged fraud and not a wrongdoer.
Was Kozeny using money from Omega “for his own personal expenses?” defense attorney John Cline asked Farrell during a two-hour cross-examination.
“I helped him do it,” said Farrell, who pleaded guilty in the case and is testifying in exchange for leniency.
Farrell was also peppered with questions from Cline suggesting he got a sweetheart deal from prosecutors in exchange for his testimony.
Farrell told Cline that the U.S. government hasn’t forced him to return $700,000 in secret bonuses he received from Kozeny and that he’s been allowed to travel between the U.S. and Russia, where he lives. Farrell hasn’t been sentenced and may be ordered to serve prison time or pay a fine.
$350 Million Deal
Bourke was one of about a dozen investors in Kozeny’s $350 million deal to buy the oil company, known as Socar. He is accused of conspiring with Kozeny in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Kozeny, a Czech national who also was charged, is a fugitive living in the Bahamas.
Bourke denies knowing of the bribes and says Kozeny stole more than $180 million from Omega and other investors, including $8 million from him. Azerbaijan never sold the oil company, wiping out the investments. Bourke says he complained to Azeri leaders after discovering Kozeny’s theft and claims he wouldn’t have complained had he been involved in Kozeny’s bribery scheme.
Farrell said he helped Kozeny cheat Omega by sending falsified documents to the hedge fund. He said Kozeny used Omega’s funds to pay for his plane and yacht and a home in Aspen, Colorado. Farrell acknowledged that part of a bonus paid to him and a co-worker may have come from Omega’s money.
When asked about a bonus, Kozeny replied, “Why don’t you guys just split $1 million,” Farrell testified.
Also today, Cline sought to show that Kozeny paid other accomplices millions of dollars in secret kickbacks. The defense will argue that Bourke, unlike the accomplices, received nothing from Kozeny. Cline also challenged Farrell about inconsistencies in earlier statements to prosecutors.
Farrell concluded his testimony today. He lives in St. Petersburg, Russia, where he’s an investor in a bar owned by a former Kozeny bodyguard.
The case is U.S. v. Bourke, 05-cr-00518, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Greenwich’s own Frederic Bourke’s bribery trial starts Monday in Manhattan. His pocket book partner, Peter Dooney, isn’t expected in the court room to cheer him on – Dooney, after Bourke charged he was trying to inject him “with a harmful substance”, said he hadn’t spoken with Bourke in years. Perhaps he’ll show up for the sentencing, if there is one.