A judge in London said today that KBR’s one-time sales manager accused by the U.S. of helping bribe Nigerian officials should be extradited to Texas to face trial.
Wojciech Chodan, 71, of Maidenhead, England, who’s a U.K. citizen, was indicted in February 2009 by a federal grand jury in Houston. His fellow countryman Jeffery Tesler, a London lawyer indicted at the same time, also lost his extradition hearing last month in London. Telser said he plans to appeal.
They were charged with one count of conspiracy to violate and ten counts of violating the FCPA. They face up to 55 years in prison if convicted on all counts. The indictment also seeks forfeiture from them of more than $132 million, the amount of the bribes U.S. prosecutors say they arranged to pay on behalf of KBR and its partners to Nigerian officials.
KBR pleaded guilty in February 2009 to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. It paid a $402 million criminal fine and, with its former parent company Halliburton, $177 million in disgorgement. KBR’s former CEO, Albert “Jack” Stanley, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiring to violate the FCPA and to mail and wire fraud charges. He’s been cooperating with prosecutors and hasn’t been finally sentenced.
In March, two of KBR’s partners in Nigeria disclosed huge financial reserves for potential FCPA settlements with U.S. authorities. French company Technip said it has a €245 million provision for its role in the TSKJ Nigeria joint venture. And Italian energy giant ENI SpA said it has set aside €250 million.
Download the federal grand jury’s February 17, 2009 indictment of Jeffrey Tesler and Wojciech Chodan here.