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

SEC v. O'Rourke

 
:
Thomas F. O'Rourke
:
SEC Civil
:
February 24, 2012
:
SEC v. O'Rourke
:
SEC v. O'Rourke, No. 4:12-cv-00564 (S.D. Tex. 2012)
:
Noble Corporation was charged with FCPA violations as part of a sweep of the oil services industry in late 2010.
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Exploration/Production
:
Nigeria
:
2003; 2004; 2005; 2006; 2007
:
Officials at Nigeria Customs Service (“NCS”), Nigeria's customs agency.
:
The SEC alleges that Thomas O'Rourke, Noble Corporation's former Director of Internal Audit and Controller, assisted officials at Noble’s Nigerian subsidiary ("Noble-Nigeria") in bribing Nigeria Customs Service (“NCS”) officials to grant and extend temporary import permits (“TIPs”) for oil rigs based on false paperwork.

Between 2003 and 2007, Noble-Nigeria operated oil rigs offshore in Nigeria pursuant to one-year TIPs granted by NCS. At the expiration of the TIPs and TIP extensions, the rigs were required to be exported and re-imported under a new TIP or be permanently imported with the payment of sizable duties. According to the SEC, Noble authorized its customs agent to create false documents showing that the rigs moved out of and back into Nigerian waters and bribe NSC officials to process these documents. The alleged scheme thus spared Noble Corporation the operational costs associated with exporting and re-importing rigs from Nigeria in order to qualify for new TIPs and allowed Noble to retain business under lucrative drilling contracts.

The SEC alleges that O'Rourke participated in internal audits that revealed that Noble-Nigeria had used false paperwork to obtain TIPs, and that Noble-Nigeria paid its customs agent for “special handling charges” that were passed through to Nigerian officials. O'Rourke allegedly facilitated approval of these charges and hid their true purpose from the company's audit committee.
:
Aiding and abetting anti-bribery, Aiding and abetting books and records, Aiding and abetting internal controls, Books and records (Individual), Internal Controls (Individual)
:
Civil penalty, Civil Settlement, Injunction/Cease and desist
:
Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, O’Rourke consented to entry of a court order requiring him to pay a $35,000 penalty and permanently enjoining him from further FCPA violations. As a part of his settlement, O'Rourke agreed to cooperate with SEC investigations and specifically consented not to permit any public statements denying any allegations in the SEC's complaint.
:
35,000
:
0
:
Aider/abettor, Officer of Issuer
:
Other Senior Officer
:
U.S.
:
United States
:
License/Permit
:
Not stated.
:
Cash
:
Customs Broker or Agent/Consultant
:
Not stated.
:
Nigeria
:
No
:
No