Jump to content Jump to menu
Why Register?

Shearman FCPA Website: Cases Logo Shearman & Sterling LLP FCPA.Shearman.com: The One-Stop Resource on the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

U.S. v. Jim Bob Brown

 
:
Willbros - Brown, Jim Bob
:
DOJ Criminal
:
September 11, 2006
:
U.S. v. Jim Bob Brown
:
U.S. v. Jim Bob Brown, No. 4:06-cr-00316-1 (S. D. Tex. 2006)
:
Despite discovery through an internal investigation of certain aspects of the improper activities, Brown and others thereafter devised new schemes to raise cash in Nigeria in order to honor preexisting improper "commitments" and entered into a new "consultancy" agreement for the purpose of continuing to make illegal payments to Nigerian officials. Willbros never paid under this "new" consultancy agreement, however.

On account of his cooperation, Brown was allowed to plead to conspiracy, which caps his sentence at 5 years, while non-cooperating Willbros employees were charged with 7 offenses each carrying a sentence of up to 5 years.
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Other/Multi
:
Ecuador, Nigeria
:
1996; 1997; 1998; 1998; 1999; 2000; 2001; 2002; 2003; 2004; 2005
:
1) officials of state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); 2) officials of NNPC's subsidiary National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS); 3) officials of NNPC's majority-owned joint venture operator, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC); 4) Nigerian tax officials; 5) Nigerian court officials; and 6) officials of state-owned PetroEcuador and its subsidiary PetroComercial.
:
Brown, a former managing director of Nigerian and South American subsidiary operations of Willbros International, Inc. ("WII"), the wholly-owned subsidiary of Willbros Group, Inc. ("WGI"), was part of a multi-million dollar bribery scheme to pay foreign officials of the Nigerian and Ecuadorian government-owned oil companies to obtain oil and gas pipeline construction business. In addition, from 1996 through 2005, Brown was involved in obtaining false invoices for goods and services in Nigeria and having these invoices submitted to WGI as funding requests for Willbros' Nigerian Subsidiaries. In addition to using these funds to fulfill "commitments" to Nigerian officials related to contract procurement, Brown and others used the funds wired to petty cash accounts in Nigeria from WGI in Houston to bribe Nigerian tax and court officials for favorable treatment regarding tax assessments and litigation.

After WII undertook an internal investigation in January 2005 that led to the resignation of a central WII executive responsible for Nigerian and South American business and stopped payments to consultants in Nigeria, Brown and others were involved in a scheme to find other funding sources for outstanding "commitments" WII had made to Nigerian officials, including contracting with a new consultant to facilitate future payments. WGI, however, never paid under this new consultancy agreement.

Beginning in late 2003, Brown and a Willbros Ecuador employee agreed to make corrupt payments of $300,000 to Ecuadorian officials of PetroEcuador and PetroComercial in order to obtain or retain business, including the Santo Domingo project, for WII and WGI subsidiaries.
On September 14, 2006, Brown pled guilty to one count of conspiring with others to violate the FCPA by bribing Nigerian and Ecuadorian officials. Under the plea agreement, Brown is obligated to cooperate with the government’s ongoing investigation into the Willbros matters. Brown also agreed to pay back taxes. The plea agreement contains no stipulation regarding sentencing calculations, other than the government agreeing to support acceptance of responsibility credit.
:
Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
:
Conspiracy - Money Laundering
:
Plea
:
On January 28, 2010, the court sentenced Brown to 12 months and 1 day of imprisonment, supervised release of 2 years, a criminal fine of $17,500, and an assessment of $100. Brown has waived his right to appeal the sentence, but the government has explicitly retained its right to appeal the sentence.
:
17,600
:
12
:
Domestic Concern, Employee of Domestic Concern
:
Other Senior Officer
:
U.S.
:
Contract Procurement/Retention, Legislation, Tax
:
390,500,000
:
Cash, Wire/check
:
Direct, Sales Agent/Consultant
:
6,600,000
:
Ecuador, Nigeria
:
Ecuador, Nigeria
:
No