U.S. v. Hammarskjold, No. 13-cr-2086 (D.N.J. 2013)
Joseph Sigelman; Gregory Weisman
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Other/Multi
Official at Ecopetrol S.A., a state-owned and state-controlled petroleum company in Colombia.
PetroTiger Ltd. was a British Virgin Islands oil and gas company with operations in Colombia and offices in New Jersey.
Knut Hammarskjold was one of two chief executive officers of PetroTiger (the other was Joseph Sigelman, also charged with related violations).
According to the DOJ Criminal Complaint, from around May 2010 to around December 2010, Hammarskjold, Sigelman, and Gregory Weisman (former general counsel of PetroTiger) (together, the "Defendants") paid bribes to an official at Ecopetrol, a state-owned and state-controlled petroleum company in Colombia, to obtain approval to enter into an oil-related services contract with another company, Mansarovar Energy Colombia Ltd. The Defendants allegedly attempted to conceal the bribes by funneling payments through the Ecopetrol official's wife and falsely claiming in documents that the payments were for finance and management consulting services that the officials' wife purportedly performed for PetroTiger. The official's wife allegedly did not provide such services, and PetroTiger was successful in obtaining Ecopetrol's approval to secure the Mansarovar contract.
The Complaint also alleged that the Defendants engaged in a fraudulent scheme to obtain kickbacks from the owners of an oil services company that PetroTiger was seeking to acquire.
Hammarskjol was arrested on Nov. 20, 2013 at Newark Liberty International Airport. He was charged by a sealed complaint filed on Nov. 8, 2013, which was unsealed on Jan. 6, 2014. On Feb. 18, 2014, Hammarskjol pleaded guilty to the charges.
Weisman, former general counsel of PetroTiger, pleaded guilty on Nov. 8, 2013 to a related criminal information charging one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and to commit wire fraud. The charges and guilty plea were also unsealed on Jan. 6, 2013.