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Tesler disbarred in UK for KBR-related conviction

The London lawyer who helped KBR and its partners deliver nearly $150 million in bribes to Nigerian officials and went to prison for violating the FCPA has been disbarred by the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority.

“The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal struck off Jeffrey Tesler last week, Legal Futures reported Tuesday.

Tesler was sentenced to 21 months in prison in February 2012 after pleading to conspiracy and violating the FCPA.

He also forfeited $149 million he held in a dozen bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel. That’s still the biggest FCPA forfeiture by an individual.

With credit for time served, he was released in March 2013 from the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. The probation office returned his passport in September 2013.

Tesler, now 65, admitted being a middleman for the TSKJ Nigeria consortium. He routed bribes “through bank accounts in Monaco and Switzerland between 1994 and 2004” and once “arranged for $1 million in $100 notes to be passed to a politician to finance a political party in Nigeria,” Legal Futures said.

The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal found that Tesler’s actions “constituted a failure to act with integrity and a failure to uphold the confidence the public has in the profession.”

Gordon Ramsay, director of legal and enforcement at the Solicitors Regulation Authority, said “Tesler abdicated this responsibility and in the U.S., he paid for it with his freedom. Now he has paid for it with his profession too.”

At Tesler’s unforgettable sentencing hearing in Houston in February 2012, he said to Judge Keith Ellison: “I ask the court to consider that I have already suffered a punishment for my actions. I have lived for the last ten years under investigation. I have irreparably lost my good name, position in society, professional livelihood and I will be disbarred.”


Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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