Halliburton admits it might have bribed Nigerian government
2 Sept. 2004
WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Halliburton's lawyer told the Wall Street Journal today that the company's KBR subsidiary "may" have bribed Nigeria's government to win an $8.1 billion contract to build a natural gas liquefaction plant. James Doty, an attorney for the Houston law firm Baker Botts, told the Journal that "people may at the time have been planning or contemplating the necessity of money for the purpose of making bribes." Doty based his comment on newly uncovered written notes from KBR employees which suggest that bribes were discussed to win the Nigeria contract. "There is no way to read these materials and not be concerned about that," Doty told the Journal. The notes were discovered over the last 10 days by Halliburton's lawyers and were written between 1993 and 1998. ###
Nigeria's natural gas contract is performed today by a consortium of four companies known collectively as "TSKJ," with KBR as the lead company. All four companies are accused of paying the bribes, valued at $180 million, between 1995 and 2002. Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO for Halliburton from 1995 to 2000. His involvement in the case, if any, is still unclear.
The U.S. Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation to determine whether KBR violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits American companies from bribing foreign governments. France and Nigeria are conducting investigations as well.
Investigators believe $5 million of the alleged bribe money was kicked-back to members of the conspiracy, including A. Jack Stanley, the chairman of KBR at the time. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a subpoena to Stanley in June and is conducting a formal investigation into the matter. Meanwhile, Halliburton terminated its relationship with Stanley after accusing him of accepting "improper personal benefits" related to work in Nigeria.
In 1996, prior to becoming part of Halliburton, M.W. Kellogg and TSKJ won the original Nigerian contract. In 1998, Kellogg merged with Halliburton's Brown and Root subsidiary to create Kellogg, Brown and Root, which is today known as "KBR." So, while the bribery scandal began in 1995, Halliburton's involvement began in 1998 when Kellogg became part of KBR.
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