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Bill Waite
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Willbros Wins Final Dismissal

Willbros Group, Inc. said in an SEC filing that the FCPA charges against it were formally dismissed this month.

After the three-year deferred prosecution agreement and monitorship expired on March 30, the DOJ asked the federal court in Houston to dismiss the criminal charges. The judge signed an order of dismissal with prejudice on April 2, meaning the the enforcement action is now formally closed.

Under its deferred prosecution agreement, Willbros was required to retain a monitor and beef up compliance.

The Houston-based company provides project management and related services to the oil and gas industry. It trades on NASDAQ under the symbol WG.

In 2008, Willbros paid $32.3 million for FCPA violations in Bolivia, Ecuador and Nigeria.

Three former Willbros executives and a consultant were charged with FCPA violations.

In early 2010, Jim Bob Brown was sentenced in federal court in Houston to a year and a day in prison and fined $17,500. Jason Edward Steph was sentenced to 15 months and fined $2,000.

A Willbros’ consultant, Paul Novak, pleaded guilty in November 2009 to paying $6 million in bribes to officials from the Nigerian government, government-owned companies, and a political party there. He’s been helping the DOJ and hasn’t been sentenced.

James “Ken” Tillery, the former managing director for Willbros in Nigeria, was indicted with Novak. He’s still a fugitive.

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