Back in the early days of this blog in 2007, we reported on the case of Robert Kraaipoel, a Dutch businessman who was indicted for selling U.S. origin items to Iran, even though Mr. Kraaipoel had never set foot in the United States and even though the sales were completely legal under Dutch law. We challenged the notion that under international law, the U.S. origin of the items was enough of a basis to assert criminal jurisdiction over Mr. Kraaipoel.
In 2009, we reported that Mr. Kraaipoel had voluntarily flown to the United States to face the music. We expressed some surprise that he had done this and expressed even more surprise that the court let him fly back to the Netherlands after a guilty plea. At the time we noted that this was likely because he had agreed to cooperate with the government in indicting other bigger fish. Indeed, the sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. Attorney in 2012 cited substantial and extensive cooperation by Mr. Kraaipoel dating back to 2007. The court ultimately sentenced Mr. Kraaipoel to sixty months of probation and no prison time, no doubt because of Mr. Kraaipoel’s cooperation with U.S. authorities vis-à-vis his dealings with Iran.
Now it appears that one of the companies that got snared by Kraaipoel’s cooperation may have been the Dutch company Fokker Services BV, about which we reported last month. Fokker agreed to pay $21 million to OFAC and to the DOJ under a deferred prosecution agreement. Interestingly, Kraaipoel’s role in the Fokker case may derail the deferred prosecution agreement itself.
The federal court judge charged with approving the deferred prosecution agreement was concerned that the agreement for lenient treatment was premised on Fokker’s voluntary disclosure in 2010. Because Kraaipoel began talking with prosecutors back in 2007, there was some concern, and some sources who told Bloomberg News, that the government knew about Fokker’s misconduct well before the voluntary disclosure, which would, of course, substantially detract from the credit that Fokker should receive for having voluntarily disclosed the matter.
A hearing on the deferred prosecution agreement to resolve these issues is scheduled for July 24.