A federal judge in Houston last week postponed sentencing for Albert “Jack” Stanley until September 23, 2010. The former chairman and CEO of KBR pleaded guilty in September 2008 to a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to commit mail and wire fraud. He’s free on unsecured bail of $100,000 pending sentencing, which has been rescheduled a half dozen times.
Stanley, 66, admitted that from 1995 to 2004, he helped a joint venture that included KBR and its predecessors funnel $182 million in bribes to government officials in Nigeria. The bribes were paid in exchange for contracts worth $6 billion to build liquefied natural gas facilities. He was sentenced to 84 months in prison and a restitution payment of $10.8 million. The jail term is subject to review based on his cooperation.
KBR pleaded guilty in February 2009 to violating the FCPA. It paid a $402 million criminal fine and, with its former parent company Halliburton, $177 million in disgorgement. Two of KBR’s partners in the TSKJ joint venture have set aside money for FCPA-related settlements. French company Technip in February this year disclosed a €245 million reserve, and Italy’s ENI said a month later it has a €250 million FCPA-related provision.
Stanley’s testimony is likely to be at the center of FCPA enforcement actions against Technip and ENI and two U.K. citizens accused of helping the joint venture bribe Nigerian officials. The DOJ rarely seeks final sentencing against important witnesses in white collar prosecutions until they have finished giving court testimony in related cases.
Jeffrey Tesler, 61, and Wojciech Chodan, 71, were indicted in February 2009 by a federal grand jury in Houston. They were charged with one count of conspiracy to violate and ten counts of violating the FCPA. 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. If convicted on all counts, they each face up to 55 years in prison.
Under his plea agreement, Stanley can’t ask for a reduction in his sentence based on his cooperation or the value of his testimony. But the DOJ can recommend a lighter sentence to the judge if it believes Stanley has fulfilled the conditions of his plea.
His sentencing was first set for November 20, 2008 before Judge Keith P. Ellison in Houston. Since then it has been reset six times, including last week’s action.
Download the September 3, 2008 plea agreement in U.S. v. Albert Jackson Stanley here.