Legally Yours. Dooney & Bourke Chairman Sentenced To Jail For Bribery Scandal

November 12, 2009 • Fashion


Frederic Bourke, of accessories firm Dooney
& Bourke
, was sentenced on Tuesday in a Manhattan District court to one year and one day in
for his role in a conspiracy to bribe officials in Azerbaijan. Bourke, 63, was convicted for his involvement in violating the Foreign Corrupt
Practices Act and Travel Act and of making false statements to the FBI.
The charges stemmed from his connection to  Oily Rock Group Ltd., an
investment firm that sought windfall gains from the sale of the
state-owned oil company of the former Soviet state Azerbaijan. Prosecutors claimed Bourke invested about $8 million in Oily Rock,
which bought government-issued privatization vouchers from citizens of
the emerging nation during the mid-Nineties. according to the U.S. Attorney's office, In order to ensure that oil
company was private, members of Oily Rock paid millions of dollars in bribes to
officials in Azerbaijan.

Bourke himself had been convicted in July after a month long jury trial, but only that he knew of the bribes, not that he was the plot’s originator. He was allowed to remain free on $10 million bail, pending his appeal. The judge decided  Bourke was not a flight risk and there were facts in the
case that could result in a new trial or reversal. At his sentencing, Bourke was also fined $1 million and ordered to serve three years of supervised
, in addition to his jail time.

Thomas McAndrew, spokesman for Dooney & Bourke, said in a recent interview
that Bourke would remain chairman of the Connecticut-based handbag
firm he founded with Peter Dooney in 1975. At the time of Bourke’s
indictment in 2005, the company claimed his private investments were completely
separate from it's business. “Truly this is an anomaly; this is not what we know his character to
,” McAndrew said. “We’re confident he’ll continue to make a positive
contribution to society.”

Article Source: WWD
Photo Source:
-Alia Rajput

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