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‘Unlikely’ Tesler Pleads To Two Counts

Photo courtesy of Nigeria PolitcoAs expected, Jeffrey Tesler pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison “to two counts related to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.”

He faces up to five years in prison on each count.

Tesler was indicted in February 2009 and charged with one count of conspiracy to violate and ten counts of violating the FCPA. He faced up to 55 years in prison and a criminal forfeiture count of $132 million.

As part of the plea, Bloomberg’s Laurel Brubaker Calkins said (and separately confirmed to us) that Tesler agreed to forfeit $149 million. As far as we know, that’s the biggest forfeiture order by far in an FCPA prosecution involving an individual.

Tesler, the report said, will be released on $50,000 cash bond and required to live in the Houston area until he is sentenced on June 22.

“You seem like such an unlikely person to be here,” Ellison said to Tesler, according to Bloomberg. “Was it just that everyone was doing this?”

“I think that’s a fair comment,” Tesler replied.

After losing his fight against extradition last month, Tesler faced enormous pressure to make a deal with U.S. prosecutors.

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