Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Whistleblower Rick Bourke of Dooney and Bourke Jailed for White Collar Crime
Don't blame the whistleblower or do you? In today's fashion law report, we have Rick Bourke, cofounder of  the luxury hand bag company Dooney and Bourke, and the corrupt Azerbaijani oil deal. The american businessman and philanthropist is caught in the midst of white collar crime and is another whistle blower jailed under the Obama Administration.

Democracy Now reports that since May 2013, Bourke has been held in federal prison serving a term of one year and one day for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for alleged knowledge of a bribery that took place in 1998. After blowing the whistle on the fraudulent scheme by international criminals to gain control of the oil riches of the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan, Bourke's guilt has been questioned.

His charges include conspiring to pay bribes to government leaders in Azerbaijan as part of a risky scheme to buy the state oil company in the former Soviet republic. After an unsuccessful appeal, he was ordered to pay $1 million in fines.

As a major investor in the deal, the fact is not made certain whether Bourke was a victim, criminal, or mere whistleblower. While the question awaits to be answered, Bourke remains as the only person behind bars in custody at Englewood maximum security in Denver, Colorado. Bourke claims that he was defrauded by the oil scheme's promoter Victor Kozeny. Kozeny was not charged but referred to in court as the "Pirate of Prague."

Bourke's attorney, Michael Tigar asks, "Why is it that the United States government, having seen that the District Attorney's Office has caught Kozeny, a thief- why is it that they would go after the guy that blew the whistle on the thievery and bribery, Rick Bourke?"

More of the story here.

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