Houston-based oil and gas services giant Halliburton on Friday disclosed an internal investigation into possible Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in Angola.
It said in an SEC filing that an anonymous email it received in December 2010 alleged FCPA violations ‘principally through the use of an Angolan vendor.’
Halliburton said it self-reported the investigation to the DOJ and, during the third quarter of this year, ‘met with the DOJ and the SEC to brief them on the status of our investigation and provided them documents.’
In that case, KBR pleaded guilty to a five-count criminal information, with one conspiracy count and four substantive counts of violating the FCPA. KBR agreed to a $402 million criminal fine. It admitted paying Nigerian officials at least $182 million in bribes on behalf of itself and the other TSKJ consortium members for contracts awarded between 1995 and 2004 to build liquefied natural gas facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria.
In the same settlement, Halliburton Company — KBR’s parent when the offenses occurred — settled civil FCPA charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It agreed to be jointly liable to pay $177 million in disgorgement, the second biggest FCPA disgorgement of all time. The SEC’s complaint alleged that Halliburton’s internal controls failed to detect or prevent the bribery, and that its records were falsified to cover up the illegal payments.
The SEC’s final order permanently enjoined Halliburton from violating the FCPA’s record-keeping and internal control provisions and required an independent consultant to review the company’s FCPA-related policies and procedures.
Halliburton is one of the world’s biggest oil and gas services companies. It has 60,000 employees in 80 countries. Last year it reported revenue of about $18 billion. According to its website, its services include locating oil and gas, managing geological data, drilling and formation evaluation, well construction and completion, and optimizing production through the life of the field.
Halliburton Company shares trade on the NYSE under the symbol HAL.
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The full FCPA disclosure in Halliburton’s 10-Q filed on October 21, 2011 for the period ending September 30, 2011 said:
‘We are conducting an internal investigation of certain areas of our operations in Angola, focusing on compliance with certain company policies, including our Code of Business Conduct (COBC), and the FCPA and other applicable laws. In December 2010, we received an anonymous email alleging that certain current and former personnel violated our COBC and the FCPA, principally through the use of an Angolan vendor. The email also alleges conflicts of interest, self-dealing and the failure to act on alleged violations of our COBC and the FCPA. We contacted the DOJ to advise them that we were initiating an internal investigation with the assistance of outside counsel and independent forensic accountants.
‘During the third quarter of 2011, we met with the DOJ and the SEC to brief them on the status of our investigation and provided them documents. We expect to continue to have discussions with the DOJ and the SEC, and we intend to continue to cooperate with their inquiries and requests as they investigate this matter.
‘Because these investigations are at an early stage, we cannot predict their outcome or the consequences thereof.’
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Download Halliburton Company’s 10-Q filed October 21, 2011 here.