The only individuals prosecuted in the $1.6 billion TSKJ Nigeria enforcement action are scheduled to be sentenced this week in federal court in Houston.
If the docket holds, Wojciech Chodan and Jeffrey Tesler will be in court on February 22 and former KBR boss Jack Stanley will be there the next day on February 23.
Chodan, 72, a manager for KBR in the U.K., pleaded guilty in December 2010 to conspiring to violate the FCPA. William Stuckwisch from the DOJ’s FCPA unit in Washington said Chodan had already agreed to forfeit $726,885 but still faced up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or more.
After Stuckwisch recited the facts, Judge Keith P. Ellison spoke directly to the accused:
THE COURT: Mr. Chodan, do you understand what the government’s lawyer said?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes.
THE COURT: Is it true?
THE DEFENDANT: Yes, it is true. . . .
THE COURT: Okay. Sir, your nationality is what?
THE DEFENDANT: It’s dual, British citizen and Polish citizen. I was born in Poland.
THE COURT: Poland. And your work for [KBR] was primarily — was it government relations or engineering or —
THE DEFENDANT: I qualified as a chemical engineer, worked as an engineer, and eventually worked in the sales department.
THE COURT: I see. Is this kind of conduct considered by American companies largely necessary as a cost of doing business?
THE DEFENDANT: It’s considered necessary not so much — in Nigeria, not so much to win the project, as to make sure that the project goes ahead. Without certain arrangements in place, various personalities in Nigeria would just impede the project, as they have done it before.
Download a copy of Chodan’s December 6, 2010 plea agreement here.