POSTED FEB 04, 2015 02:20 PM CST
An executive now federally charged in a New Jersey foreign-bribery case apparently feared that his general counsel might be recording device when the two met in 2012 at his Miami, Florida, condominium.
But even after Joseph Sigelman asked attorney Gregory Weisman to pull up his shirt, Sigelman failed to spot the body cam with which his legal counsel had been equipped by the FBI, reports the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.). Sigelman was formerly chief executive of PetroTiger Ltd., an oil and gas company based in the British Virgin Islands that also had operations in Colombia and New Jersey. Weisman formerly represented both the company and Sigelman personally, the newspaper stated.
The video from the body cam is now part of the court record, providing an unusual degree of detail about what was said during the December 2012 conversation. Sigelman knew at the time that the company’s practices were under investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, but didn’t realize Weisman was cooperating with the FBI.
“You have to stop f—king panicking, seriously,” Sigelman urged the lawyer at one point, concerned that he might do something “stupid” in his interactions with investigators.
“Look, I never wanted to be involved in this kind of s—. And now I have FBI agents coming to visit me,” Weisman responded. “I’m really scared.”
Sigelman, who maintained his innocence in the video and has pleaded not guilty to charges that he violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, is scheduled to go to trial in April. Weisman has taken a plea deal in the case. In the video, Sigelman blames the DOJ probe on “vengeful” Colombian board members with whom the founders of the company were involved in a dispute.