- Category: International
- Published on Saturday, 12 March 2011 06:34
- Written by ThisDay
- Hits: 2146
Tesler’s plea was not entirely a surprise, as there had been speculation that he might decide to make a deal rather than risk going to prison for decades, the punishment he faced if he had been convicted of all 11 counts in the indictment. Tesler, 62, pleaded guilty to just two counts.
KBR and Halliburton have already paid hundreds of millions of dollars in a scandal that has not only tarnished the company but also resulted in the convictions of several individuals. Another British man who was indicted with Tesler, Wojciech Chodan, pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He will be sentenced on April 27.
The charges against the two men were part of a U.S. investigation of KBR's practices in Nigeria. In February 2009, KBR pleaded guilty in Houston federal court to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by authorizing and paying bribes from 1995 to 2004 for contracts to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria. The company agreed to pay more than $400 million in fines.
A major engineering and construction services company with operations around the world, KBR split from Halliburton in 2007.
KBR's former Chief Executive Albert "Jack" Stanley pleaded guilty in September 2008 for his role in the bribery scheme and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 5.
In December, Nigeria's anti-corruption agency charged current and former KBR and Halliburton executives, including former Vice President Dick Cheney, who at one time led Halliburton, in the bribery scheme. But the charges were dropped a few weeks later after Halliburton agreed to pay a $35 million settlement.