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U.S. v. Aibel Group Ltd.

 
:
Aibel Group Ltd.
:
DOJ Criminal
:
November 12, 2008
:
U.S. v. Aibel Group Ltd.
:
U.S. v. Aibel Group Limited, 4:07-cr-00005-1 (S.D. Tex. 2008)
:
This represents the first time the DOJ has declared a breach of an FCPA deferred prosecution agreement and prosecuted the company on the basis of the facts admitted in the earlier agreement. However, in the current matter, in 2008, neither the government nor the company has disclosed the nature of the breach, and the pleadings do not allege any conduct subsequent to the date of the prior agreement.
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Exploration/Production
:
Nigeria
:
2002; 2003; 2004; 2005
:
Nigerian customs officials
:
Aibel Group Ltd. ("Aibel") and its affiliates provided engineering and procurement services and subsea construction equipment for Nigeria's first deepwater oil drilling operation, the Bonga Project. On November 21, 2008, Aibel pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to authorize corrupt payments to Nigerian customs officials as well as one count of violating the FCPA by willfully using the instrumentalities of interstate and foreign commerce in furtherance of a corrupt payment, namely a telephone call from Norway to Houston, Texas, authorizing the payment of an invoice for the agent's earlier payment of approximately $45,454 to Nigerian customs officials.

Aibel admitted conspiring with others to make at least 378 corrupt payments totaling approximately $2.1 million to Nigerian customs officials in order to receive preferential treatment during the customs process and to avoid the payment of duties.
:
Anti-bribery (Other Persons)
:
Fine, Plea, Probation
:
Aibel admitted that it was not in compliance with a 2007 deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a $4.2 million fine. The government consented to the dismissal of the deferred prosecution agreement.
:
4,200,000
:
0
:
Under the Sentencing Guidelines, the base fine was $10,500,000 based upon more than one bribe and bribes greater than $1million. The government agreed to give Aibel credit for self-reporting (based on the Vetco Gray report in 2007), resulting in a culpability score of 1 and multipliers of 0.20 to 0.40 and a fine range of $2.1 million to $4.2 million.
:
Other Person
:
Foreign
:
Customs Clearance
:
10,500,000
:
Cash
:
Customs Broker or Agent/Consultant
:
2,100,000
:
United States
:
No