In Technip probe, Justice Department announces settlement of $338 million in Nigeria case

Monday, June 28, 2010

Technip agrees to pay $338 million in case

WASHINGTON — Global engineering firm Technip S.A. has agreed to pay $338 million to settle accusations that it engaged in a decade-long scheme to bribe government officials in Nigeria, the Justice Department announced Monday.

The department says the Paris-based company conducted the alleged bribery scheme to obtain more than $6 billion in contracts to build liquified natural gas facilities.

Technip chairman and CEO Thierry Pilenko said the agreement with U.S. authorities “puts this legacy story behind us and enables us to focus on continuing to develop Technip’s business.”

Technip was part of a four-company joint venture that included U.S. firm Kellogg Brown & Root Inc. The government of Nigeria awarded four contracts to the venture from 1995 to 2004.

Under the settlement, Technip has agreed to pay a $240 million criminal penalty and the Justice Department has filed a deferred prosecution agreement and a criminal information resolving charges of conspiracy and of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The company will pay $98 million to settle a related civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Technip authorized the hiring of two agents to pay bribes to Nigerian government officials, according to court papers in the case.

The court papers state that a senior executive of Technip, KBR’s former CEO, Albert “Jack” Stanley and others asked executive branch officials of the Nigerian government at critical junctures in the project to designate a representative with whom the joint venture should negotiate the payment of bribes.

In Monday’s company statement, Pilenko said Technip is committed to carrying out its business activities ethically and according to both the spirit and letter of the law worldwide.

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