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Last week, U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz sent down a ruling that overturned the corruption convictions of Lindsey Manufacturing Co. executives, who had been accused by government prosecutors of participating in bribes that violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Given that this was the first major corporate prosecution under the FCPA, what does the ruling mean for the future of the anti-corruption law? Writing for The Huffington Post, Brad Reid—the managing director of the Dean Institute for Corporate Governance and Integrity at Lipscomb University—suggests that the government’s approach to the prosecution of Lindsey’s president Keith Lindsey and CLO Steven Lee lost sight of the original ideas behind laws like the FCPA. “The important lesson for all is that ‘winning’ is not the only thing,” he writes. “Winning is the outcome of superior products and services in the business context. Winning in law should mean that justice under law is served.” Reid also quotes part of the summary that opens Matz’s decision that he feels “says it all”:
In this Court’s experience, almost all of the prosecutors in the Office of the United States Attorney for this district consistently display admirable professionalism, integrity and fairness. So it is with deep regret that this Court is compelled to find that the Government team allowed a key FBI agent to testify untruthfully before the grand jury, inserted material falsehoods into affidavits submitted to magistrate judges in support of applications for search warrants and seizure warrants, improperly reviewed e-mail communications between one Defendant and her lawyer, recklessly failed to comply with its discovery obligations, posed questions to certain witnesses in violation of the Court’s rulings, engaged in questionable behavior during closing argument and even made misrepresentations to the Court.