Ex-Alstom Exec Can't Skirt Prison Over Virus Risk, Feds Say

By Reenat Sinay
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Law360 (September 21, 2020, 4:22 PM EDT) -- U.S. prosecutors on Friday urged a judge to reject a bid by former Alstom SA executive Lawrence Hoskins to serve a 15-month money laundering sentence in home confinement during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing the British citizen shouldn't be allowed to "sail back to England never having served a day in prison."

Hoskins, who is set to report to prison next month, cannot move for compassionate release before he is even in prison and cannot claim a health exemption to the law because he has not proven he has a heightened risk of catching COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Justice told a Connecticut federal judge in its opposition filing.

"If Hoskins does not want to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons, he has a much more obvious option, and one that is contemplated by the law. Should Hoskins wish to delay his incarceration out of fear from the pandemic, he may again move under 18 U.S.C. § 3143(a)(1) without objection from the government," prosecutors said, referring to the law governing pre-sentence custody decisions. "He should not be permitted to simply abdicate responsibility for his crime altogether and sail back to England never having served a day in prison."

The DOJ also cast doubt on Hoskins' claim that his polymyalgia rheumetica, an inflammatory disorder, warrants a sentence of time served and home confinement, contending that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not consider PMR to be a risk factor for COVID-19.

"The record is woefully thin regarding the seriousness of Hoskins' condition," prosecutors said. "Hoskins has submitted no medical records, no detailed medical history, and no letter from a treating physician explaining the extent of Hoskins's condition and its potential interaction with COVID-19."

"Moreover, there has been one case of COVID-19 among FCI Allenwood Low prisoners since the beginning of the pandemic (and no active cases now), and thus the risk of contracting the disease there is minimal, and certainly not greater than his proposed home confinement in Texas," prosecutors added.

A Connecticut federal jury convicted Hoskins in November 2019 of bribing Indonesian officials to gain a $118 million energy contract for Alstom's Connecticut-based subsidiary, Alstom Power Inc.

U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton reversed his bribery conviction in February after finding prosecutors failed to prove Hoskins, who was never in the U.S. during the bribery scheme, was an agent of the subsidiary.

But the judge upheld his money laundering convictions tied to wire transfers associated with the alleged bribes, and sentenced him to one year and three months in prison in March. Prosecutors had asked for a sentence between seven and nine years.

The DOJ also noted Friday that Hoskins is set to serve about half the time of his co-defendant Frederic Pierucci, a French former executive at API who pled guilty in 2013 and cooperated with the government. Pierucci served around 11 months in prison and was released in 2018.

When Judge Arterton handed down Pierucci's 30-month sentence, she said she meant to send a message of deterrence against foreign bribery. The 14 months Pierucci spent in detention before his plea counted toward his prison time.

Alstom admitted in a 2014 plea deal that it had used consultants to bribe officials at Indonesia's state-owned power company.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut declined to comment Monday.

Counsel for Hoskins didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

The government is represented by Daniel Kahn and Lorinda Laryea of the U.S. Department of Justice's Fraud Section and David Novick of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Connecticut.

Hoskins is represented by Christopher J. Morvillo and Daniel Silver of Clifford Chance LLP and Brian E. Spears of Spears Manning & Martini LLC.

The case is U.S. v. Hoskins, case number 3:12-cr-00238, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

--Additional reporting by Emilie Ruscoe. Editing by Rebecca Flanagan.

For a reprint of this article, please contact reprints@law360.com.

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USA v. Pierucci et al

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November 27, 2012

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