DALLAS — A team of Thompson & Knight trial lawyers obtained an extraordinary victory on Sept. 29, as the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico issued a ruling dismissing all pending charges against their client, Bell Helicopter Vice President Javier Ortiz. Mr. Ortiz was charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of making a false statement on a loan application. The allegations centered on an approximately $30 million transaction involving the sale of four Bell helicopters to the Puerto Rico government. The prosecutors have dropped all charges related to the transaction.
“In a case of this magnitude, it is very rare for the federal prosecutor to dismiss all criminal charges prior to going to trial,” said Richard B. Roper, a partner at Thompson & Knight and lead counsel on the case. “We are proud of this positive outcome for our client and are very pleased with the District Court’s dismissal of all pending charges.”
The government agreed to dismiss all charges against Mr. Ortiz based in large part on the TK team’s discussions with United States Attorney Stephen Muldrow, during which TK lawyers were able to explain the complexities of the transaction to the prosecutors, and successfully demonstrated Mr. Ortiz’s innocence.
The Dallas-based trial team was led by Richard Roper, Elissa McClure, and Javan Porter, as well as local counsel based in Puerto Rico, Lydia Lizarribar.