LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--US District Judge Howard Matz today signed an order vacating the money laundering conviction of Angela Maria Gomez Aguilar in United States v. Aguilar (2:10-cr-01031-AHM), a prosecution brought under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and various money laundering statutes. Stephen G. Larson, a partner with Arent Fox, obtained a complete dismissal for Ms. Aguilar in this highly watched case, aka the “Lindsey case.” The dismissal was the culmination of a series of motions that demonstrated serious issues with the government’s investigation and prosecution of this case.
“The government overreached in its efforts to press this case,” Mr. Larson said. “It is bittersweet whenever a prosecution is terminated for misconduct: Although Ms. Aguilar is greatly relieved by Judge Matz’s decision to end this ordeal, it is tragic that it was permitted to go this far. I am pleased that the Department of Justice has recognized as much by opting not to pursue its appeal in this case.”
Prior to the trial last year, Mr. Larson and his co-counsel, Janet Levine of Crowell Moring, who represented co-defendant Steve Lee, and Jan Hanzlik, now of Venable, who represented co-defendant Keith Lindsay, had chipped away at the government’s case with numerous victories along the way, including several motions based on specific instances of misconduct. These laid the groundwork for a post-conviction motion granted by the court dismissing the entire case against all the remaining defendants for governmental misconduct.
Mr. Larson obtained a total victory for his client in an unusual procedural route: First, Mr. Larson obtained a Rule 29 judgment of acquittal on the singular substantive count against Ms. Aguilar (a money laundering count) based on insufficient evidence at the close of trial but before the jury began deliberating; then, days after the jury convicted Ms. Aguilar on the remaining conspiracy count, Larson negotiated an agreement with the government for a time-served sentence and an immediate release from custody; lastly, following the dismissal of the indictment for government misconduct six months later, Larson obtained an agreement from the government to stipulate to a Section 2255 motion vacating the one count of conviction, an agreement which took effect upon the government’s decision not to further pursue its appeal.
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