Ric Bourke trial resumes

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).

5 Comments

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5 responses to “Ric Bourke trial resumes

  1. Fake Juror

    “so how much will you pay me Mr. Bourke for my not guilty vote on each of the three counts you are charged with?” LOL

  2. Summer Vacation

    What a wonderful way to spend the prime six weeks of summer in June and July in New York City – sitting for jury duty! Hey, does jury duty include going to a 4th of July party on the Bourke’s 46 foot yacht in Seal Harbor with all his swell rich friends and family?

  3. Wikipedia

    This official site makes no mention of briebs for the former Russian republic President in 1997. I guess there was no brieb. Bourke must be innocent. Let him go.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heydar_Aliyev

  4. Kleptocracy

    http://www.travel-images.com/az-heydar-aliyev.html

    Sounds like everyone was scamming everyone over there in 1997. Can you bring back a dead President to testify about the kleptomaniacs in that former Russian administration?!

  5. Mikhail Gorbachev-witness in Bourke's defense?

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2003/12/13/BAGI23MI601.DTL

    Sounds like Gorbachev had Hedyar Aliyev number years before Bourke met him. Gorbachev forced Aliyez out of his government due to his corruption.

    Hey Bourke, Gorbachev may be a great witness in your defense. It is within your power to call him up to testify about that Azerbaijan President for your case. But hurry up. Only got 6 weeks!

    Gorby is still alive!