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U.S. v. Willbros Group, Inc., and Willbros International, Inc.

 
:
Willbros - Willbros International, Inc.
:
DOJ Criminal
:
May 14, 2008
:
U.S. v. Willbros Group, Inc., and Willbros International, Inc.
:
U.S. v. Willbros Group, Inc. and Willbros International, Inc., No. 4:08-cr-0287 (S.D. Tex. 2008)
:
Despite discovery through an internal investigation of certain aspects of the improper activities, employees of the company thereafter schemed to honor preexisting improper "commitments" for the purpose of continuing to make illegal payments to Nigerian officials.

After entering into the deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice and settling a civil action brought by the SEC, Willbros International, Inc. ("WII"), a subsidiary of Willbros Group, Inc. ("WGI"), sued Tillery, a former executive, and Novak, a former consultant, for breach of fiduciary duty based on the facts uncovered in the investigations. Both Tillery and Novak are under federal indictment stemming from the same set of facts.
:
Energy (Non-Utility)-Oil & Gas-Other/Multi
:
Ecuador, Nigeria
:
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) a senior official in the executive branch of the Nigerian federal government; 5) officials in the dominant political party in Nigeria; and 6) officials of state-owned PetroEcuador and its subsidiary PetroComercial.
:
Willbros International, Inc., ("WII"), is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Willbros Group, Inc. ("WGI"), which provides construction, engineering, and other services in the oil and gas industry. WII conducts WGI's international operations. WII uses a number of its own subsidiaries to conduct business on behalf of it and WGI in Nigeria and Ecuador.

As admitted in a deferred-prosecution agreement also entered into by WGI, WII violated the FCPA when one or more of its officers, employees, or agents used contractual payments, fraudulent loans, and petty cash obtained by fraudulent invoices to funnel money to two "consultants" and an employee for the purposes of bribing foreign officials from Nigeria and Ecuador to procure lucrative contracts related to the oil and gas industry. Although a Panamanian corporation, WII was a "domestic concern" under the FCPA because its principal place of business was in the U.S. The details of the bribery scheme are set forth in the fact description for WGI. Unlike WGI, WII was not charged with violating the FCPA's books and records provisions.
:
Anti-bribery (Domestic Concern), Conspiracy - Anti-Bribery
:
Compliance Monitor, Deferred-prosecution Agreement, Fine
:
Willbros Group, Inc. and Willbros International, Inc. agreed, jointly and severally, to pay a criminal penalty of $22,000,000 payable in four installments: $10,000,000 paid within 10 days of executing the deferred prosecution agreement; two $4,000,000 installments on or before the first and second anniversaries of the initial payment date; and a fourth payment of $4,000,000 after the third anniversary of the initial payment, but before the end of the deferred prosecution agreement, which would run for three years and seven days from May 14, 2008.

In addition, Willbros Group, Inc. and Willbros International, Inc. represented that they had implemented and would continue to implement a compliance and ethics program and a review of existing controls, policies and procedures, would continue to cooperate with the government investigation, and would engage an independent corporate monitor.
:
22,000,000
:
0
:
Domestic Concern
:
Foreign
:
Contract Procurement/Retention
:
390,500,000
:
Cash, Wire/check
:
Direct, Sales Agent/Consultant
:
10,300,000
:
Ecuador, Nigeria
:
Ecuador, Lebanon
:
The deferred-prosecution agreement makes clear that the element of "mails, means, or instrumentalities of interstate commerce" was satisfied by: (i) wire transfer of funds from Houston, Texas to a bank account in Lebanon in furtherance of corrupt payments to Nigerian government officials; and (ii) email correspondence from Houston, Texas to Venezuela in furtherance of corrupt payments to Ecuadorian government officials.
:
No