Updated at 6:14 p.m.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon declared a mistrial this afternoon in a sprawling foreign bribery sting case that involved allegations of a corrupt deal to sell $15 million in supplies to the defense minister of Gabon.
The high-profile trial against four of the 22 individuals caught up in the sting began on May 17. The jury began deliberations on June 28.
Following the announcement, Justice Department prosecutor Joey Lipton told the court that the government intends to retry the case.
"We appreciate the jury's service," Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney said this afternoon.
The National Law Journal's Mike Scarcella previously reported that in opening arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Haray alleged that the four defendants on trial - the first group to take the allegations to a jury - participated in a scheme that involved an illegal bribe to secure the supply contract with Gabon.
During the trial, Haray told the jury about alleged meetings between the defendants and undercover FBI agents where they purportedly agreed to participate in the illegal deal.
The four defendants charged with violations of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act are Pankesh Patel, John Wier III, Andrew Bigelow and Lee Tolleson. During opening arguments, Patel's attorney, Kobre & Kim partner Eric Bruce, said he would focus on alleged FBI misconduct during the investigation.
Bruce and other attorneys for the defense could not immediately be reached this afternoon for comment.
The Justice Department first announced it had arrested the group of corporate executives and employees indicated in the sting in January 2010. The case marked the first large-scale use of undercover techniques in a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation.