Halliburton Will Pay $559M in Nigerian Bribery Fines

The settlement is the second-largest under the current law
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2009 9:24 AM CST
Local residents paddle a canoe past oil installations belonging to the Mobil oil company in Bonny Island, Nigeria, where Halliburton is accused of bribing local officials.   (AP Photo/George Osodi, File)
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(Newser) – Halliburton will shell out $559 million in fines—the largest federal penalty ever paid by a US company for bribery—to the Justice Department and the SEC to settle claims that its former KBR unit greased the palms of Nigerian officials to help get a gas liquefaction facility built, along with other projects dating back over two decades. KBR’s former chief pleaded guilty in September to a scheme to pay $180 million in kickbacks to Nigerian officials involved in the gas facility's construction, Reuters reports.

Halliburton, once helmed by former VP Dick Cheney, will also have to retain an independent consultant to ensure its compliance with bribery laws. The company ran afoul of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which punishes companies for using bribes to win foreign business. The Houston Chronicle reports the penalty is the second-largest ever under FCPA after German engineering company Siemens paid $800 million for violating it in December.