Another Big Win in the White Collar World (This Time in the EDVA, of All Places)

August 9, 2016

By: Sara Kropf

After I wrote my last post, I was reminded about another big win that I should have mentioned before. Greg Poe, Preston Burton and Rachel Li Wai Suen won a complete acquittal for former high-ranking army officer Edwin Livingston. Here’s a short summary of the win:

A federal court on Wednesday exonerated four former high-ranking Army officers accused of orchestrating a large-scale bribery scheme involving under-the-table payments to Pentagon acquisition officials in an attempt to secure lucrative Defense Department contracts for their Virginia-based government contracting firm.

Edwin Livingston III, 67; Ronald Tipa, 68; Thomas Taylor, 66; and Ross DeBlois Sr., 55, were all found not guilty on a total of 32 counts of bribery and fraud, according to a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Federal prosecutors alleged the four men, all retired colonels in the Army National Guard, used their government contracting company, Military Personnel Services Corporation, or MPCS, to bribe Defense Department officials to steer Pentagon acquisition and services contracts to the Falls Church, Virginia-based firm.

For those of you practice in the white-collar world, one fact here should stand out. They won a complete acquittal in the EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA. That’s probably the toughest court to face these kinds of charges. The jury pool is stacked with current and former military folks, defense contractors and other Northern Virginia residents who don’t take kindly to bribery.

The judges there are uniformly tough on defendants, too. It’s not an easy place to try a criminal case, never mind win one.

The other three defendants also had great counsel. These kinds of wins are a huge team effort, so a quick shout-out to the whole group:

Mark MacDougall, Karen Williams, and Connor Mullin (Akin Gump); Bob Trout, Gloria Solomon, and Chris Hatfield (Trout Cacheris); and Barry Pollack and Addy Schmitt (Miller Chevalier).

That’s a rock star-level joint defense group.

Congrats to everyone!

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