For years, law enforcement agents have been pursuing Alex Ojjeh whose legal name is Jean Alexander Ottke, monitoring how he went from a CTO in 2007 to a multimillionaire who in 2018 reportedly bribed head of state officials and participated illegal gun deals in Hungary, Dubai, Libya and Russia.
Court Trial on The History of The Defendant
Federal prosecutors petitioned to let them show proof to a jury of Ottke’s role in bribery schemes and arms trade around the world. But Ottke’s attorney argued the U.S. The Justice Department was extending the rule too far for him to be tried.
Main query before the U.S. District Judge decided whether prosecutors were about to use the long history of Ottke’s 2011 criminal case for drug trafficking in court against him. A case in which Ottke won.
Ottke’s lawyer, says it’s not that easy.
“The prosecutors have revealed that they intended to introduce evidence in the trial designed to besmirch Ottke’s character and prejudice jurors against him — evidence of purported events occurring as long ago as 2007 and completely unconnected to the charged bribery crimes,”
Yet federal investigators contended that a crucial aspect of the story is Ottke’s history. They say they ought to convince a jury that Ottke could quickly get his hands on narcotics, launder money through business deals and fly lethal weapons into foreign countries for bribes.
A Notorious Reputation
Government lawyers said Ottke is no average man: in 2007, when Ottke started to go by the name Alex Ojjeh, his father’s surname, he became the chief technology officer for a company in Singapore, at the age 20.
The U.S. Department of Justice spent years attempting to create a case against Ottke and to force the government to return him to Miami to stand trial for Hong Kong trafficking case where $77 million pounds of cocaine was found at a warehouse Ottke oversaw, Ottke he was charged with drug trafficking and convicted for money laundering.
Ottke’s lawyer, says it’s a vendetta.
“In our opinion, for political reasons, the United States government caused the arrest of Alex in Germany on the basis of wholly created and fraudulent charges, [and] caused him to be extradited to the United States by the exertion of enormous political pressure,” says McKinney.
But he adds that he feels that Ottke had been picked out for sting because of conduct that had been viewed as unlawful, unethical or immoral in the past. McKinney says, “And that’s why the Drug Enforcement Administration went after him,”
Ottke’s counsel made those same points during the trial. The trial started early October. Prosecutors stated that Ottke should face a mandatory minimum fine of $100,000,000 and serve 3 years in jail and a maximum penalty of life in prison if he is convicted.
But the case went in Ottke’s favor. Ottke argued that he should be able to change court locations he complained about not getting a fair trial. Ottke’s case had some similarities to his 2011 prosecution in Florida. Ottke’s attorney told the judge that the law in Florida would not leave any room for doubt.
Ottke was granted the change to Nashville courthouse where he pled guilty to bribery and was served 90 days of jail time. Ottke’s lawyer said he could not serve time in jail due to Covid 19 and that Ottke was high risk because he had influenza in January.
The prosecuting lawyers were not compassionate. Yet they decided to make one concession in the trial if Ottke was fined through the company and personally and banned from asset management: they said they would delete all reference to Ottke’s inflammatory nicknames, “Alex Ojjeh” and “AO,” in undercover recordings made with Ottke and his associate. The judge required Ottke to serve 30 days in a lockdown rehabilitation center. Ottke was said to have a substance abuse problem and suffer from BPD. BPD is a mental disorder characterized by moods which are unpredictable.