In federal court yesterday in Houston, Judge Keith P. Ellison reset the sentencing date for Wojciech Chodan, KBR’s former employee in the U.K. who pleaded guilty in December to one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA.
Chodan, 72, who holds a Polish passport, will now be sentenced on April 27. He was first scheduled to be sentenced on February 22. That date had already slipped to March 24 before yesterday’s hearing. There was no explanation in the court record for the sentencing delays.
American authorities charged Chodan and his co-defendant, Jeffrey Tesler, with helping KBR and its partners pay $182 million in bribes Nigerian officials. Last month, the British High Court refused to block Tesler’s extradition to the U.S.. Because Chodan could provide testimony, the DOJ may want to delay his sentencing until Tesler appears at trial or negotiates a plea deal.
Chodan now faces up to five years in prison. He already agreed to forfeit $726,885. Tesler, 62, a U.K. citizen, faces up to 55 years in prison and forfeiture of more than $132 million.
Chodan is free on $150,000 bond. In early December, he surrendered his passport to U.S. authorities. His travel beyond Harris County, Texas needs the government’s approval.
Our thanks to the reader who alerted us yesterday to the court’s action in Chodan’s case.