Britain is sending KBR’s one-time sales manager to the U.S. “within the next 10 days to stand trial over his alleged role in a huge international bribery scandal,” according to a story today in the Guardian newspaper by Rob Evans.
Wojciech Chodan, 72, a U.K. citizen, was indicted in February 2009 by a federal grand jury in Houston. In April this year, a judge in London approved his extradition.
His fellow countryman Jeffery Tesler, a lawyer indicted at the same time, also lost his extradition hearing in March. He’s still in the U.K. and will appear in the high court tomorrow in London to argue against his extradition. Chodan dropped his appeal in November without explaining why, the Guardian said.
They were charged in the U.S. 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 is free on bail, awaiting his final sentencing.
Earlier this year, two of KBR’s partners in Nigeria settled FCPA-related charges. In July, Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V. and its parent company ENI S.p.A of Italy, paid $365 million for Snamprogetti’s role in the TSKJ-Nigeria joint venture. In June, Paris-based Technip resolved FCPA-related charges with the DOJ and SEC for $338 million — a $240 million criminal penalty and $98 million in disgorgement.
The Guardian said it will argue next week in the London high court for disclosure of official documents about the Serious Fraud Office’s decision to allow Chodan’s extradition, instead of putting him on trial in the U.K.
Download the February 17, 2009 indictment of Jeffrey Tesler and Wojciech Chodan in U.S. v. Jeffrey Tesler et al (Court Docket Number: 09-CR-098) here.