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U.S. v. Parker Drilling Company

 
:
Parker Drilling - Parker Drilling Company
:
DOJ Criminal
:
April 16, 2013
:
U.S. v. Parker Drilling Company
:
U.S. v. Parker Drilling Co., No. 1:13-CR-00176-GBL (E.D. Va. 2013)
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Other/Multi
:
Nigeria
:
2004
:
Employees of the following entities: Nigerian Ministry of Finance, Nigeria Customs Service, Nigerian President-appointed “Panel of Inquiry for the Investigation of All Cases of Temporary Import Permits,” Nigerian State Security Service
:
Parker Drilling Company is a publicly listed drilling-services company headquartered in Houston. It operates through various subsidiaries throughout the world, and in this case, operated oil-drilling rigs owned by Parker Drilling (Nigeria) Limited, a Nigerian entity and wholly-owned subsidiary of Parker Drilling Offshore Internationa, Inc., a Cayman Islands corporation and wholly-owned Parker Drilling subsidiary.

According to criminal information, the investigation of Parker Drilling stemmed from the Justice Department's investigations into the operations of Panalpina World Transport (Nigeria) Limited ("Panalpina Nigeria"). In 2001 and 2002, Panalpina Nigeria had helped Parker Drilling avoid certain costs associated with Nigeria's Customs & Excise Management Act of 1958. In late 2002, Nigeria formed a government commission to examine whether Nigeria's Customs Service had collected certain duties and tariffs that Nigeria was due (the "TI Panel"). In April 2002, the TI Panel found that Parker Drilling had violated Nigeria's customs laws, and assessed a fine of $3.8 million against the company in May 2004.

During these proceedings, Parker Drilling allegedly retained a Nigerian agent to "act as a consultant," who met with, or planned meetings with, various Nigerian officials. Parker Drilling transferred a total amount of $1.25 million to this Nigerian Agent, who reported spending a portion of the money on various things including entertaining government officials. According to court documents, two senior executives within Parker Drilling at the time reviewed and approved the agent’s invoices, knowing that the invoices arbitrarily attributed portions of the money that Parker Drilling transferred to the agent to various fees and expenses. The funds were mostly funneled through Parker Drilling's law firm and U.S. outside counsel.

The Nigerian agent succeeded in reducing Parker Drilling's fines, and on May 2004, the TI Panel reduced the $3.8 million to $750,000.

:
Anti-bribery (Issuer)
:
Deferred-prosecution Agreement
:
Monetary penalty of $11.76 million.

Parker Drilling also reached a settlement with the SEC in a parallel civil action, and agreed to pay $3.05 milion in disgorgement and $1.04 million in prejudgement interest.
:
11,760,000
:
0
:
Total Offense Level: 30 (Base Offense of 12 plus Benefit of 18). Total Culpability Score: 7 (Base Score of 5 plus Willfulness of 4 minus Cooperation of 2).
:
Issuer
:
U.S.
:
United States
:
Other Business Advantage
:
3,050,000
:
Entertainment
:
Customs Broker or Agent/Consultant
:
1,250,000
:
Nigeria
:
Nigeria
:
No
:
No