Round Hill Road resident and Walt Noel neighbor Frederic Bourke feared that his business partner Peter Doone was trying to “inject him with harmful substances”.
May 9 (Bloomberg) — Jurors may be told that Frederic Bourke, the co-founder of handbag maker Dooney & Bourke who faces international bribery charges, believed business partner Peter Dooney was secretly injecting him with a “harmful substance.”.
Bourke goes on trial June 1 in New York federal court on charges that he helped Czech expatriate Viktor Kozeny pay bribes to government leaders in Azerbaijan in 1998 in a failed bid to take over the former Soviet republic’s state oil company.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Harry Chernoff said in court papers on May 7 that proof of Bourke’s “fears” may be relevant at the trial and that he may offer evidence that Bourke believed Dooney’s “agents” were “secretly injecting” him with “a harmful substance.” He also wants to show that Bourke and Kozeny “obtained the services of two prostitutes” while they were scouting for investments, demonstrating “the close relationship” between Bourke and Kozeny, Chernoff wrote.
U.S. prosecutors in 2005 said Kozeny, who had a home in Colorado, paid millions of dollars in bribes to Azeri leaders in attempt to buy a controlling stake in the state oil company in Azerbaijan, known as Socar. Bourke, one of Kozeny’s American investors, is alleged to have conspired with the Czech in violation of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act, the U.S. anti- bribery law, prosecutors said.
Kozeny now lives in the Bahamas and has successfully fought extradition to the U.S. in the case. Kozeny is also wanted by authorities in the Czech Republic, where he’s accused of stripping Czech companies of $1.1 billion.
Bourke invested $8 million with Kozeny. Other investors included hedge fund Omega Advisors Inc. and American International Group Inc., which haven’t been accused of wrongdoing. Dooney was not an investor in the deal.
Dooney laughed when told of Bourke’s alleged fear.
“I haven’t seen the guy in years and years,” Dooney said in an interview yesterday. “No secret injections. Categorically denied.”
Well of course, he would say that, wouldn’t he?