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KBR charged with bribing Nigerian officials for contracts

  • Story Highlights
  • Feds: KBR bribed Nigerian government for "billions of dollars in contracts"
  • 22-page document outlines venture to pay international consultants
  • KBR's chief executive officer was convicted of bribery last fall
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The former Halliburton subsidiary KBR has been charged with bribing Nigerian government officials with "tens of millions of dollars" to obtain "billions of dollars in contracts," according to court documents filed late Friday in Houston, Texas.

KBR was spun off from its former parent corporation Halliburton in 2007.

KBR was spun off from its former parent corporation Halliburton in 2007.

Justice Department lawyers filed an "information," which is generally associated with an expected plea agreement.

The Justice Department had no comment on the filing, but officials familiar with the case said they expected KBR representatives to appear Wednesday in federal court in Houston.

The 22-page court document outlines a complex joint venture involving KBR and the Nigeria government-owned National Petroleum Corporation charged with developing the country's oil and gas industry. The contracts involved the design and construction of a natural gas plant.

The government documents say the joint venture included payments to international consultants to bribe Nigerian officials.

The alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act come after the conviction of Albert Stanley, KBR's former chief executive officer, who pleaded guilty to bribery last fall.

"We are not providing comment at this time," said company spokeswoman Heather Browne in an e-mail. She referred CNN to a filing in October that cited a consortium that included KBR called TSKJ.

It said, "information has been uncovered suggesting that, commencing at least 10 years ago, members of TSKJ planned payments to Nigerian officials. We have reason to believe, based on the ongoing investigations, that payments may have been made by agents of TSKJ to Nigerian officials.

"The government has recently confirmed that it has evidence of such payments. The government has also recently advised Halliburton and KBR that it has evidence of payments to Nigerian officials by another agent in connection with a separate KBR-managed offshore project in Nigeria and possibly evidence of payments in connection with other projects in Nigeria."

The company said that in June 2004 it terminated its relationship with Stanley, and noted his guilty plea.

"By the plea, Mr. Stanley admitted that he participated in a scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials and that payments were made by agents of TSKJ to Nigerian officials in connection with the construction and expansion by TSKJ of the complex at Bonny Island," it said.

KBR, which was spun off from its former parent corporation Halliburton in 2007, has been under fire for its business practices in providing logistical support to the U.S. war effort in Iraq. The Nigerian charges are separate from KBR's contracts in Iraq and Kuwait.

CNN Justice Producer Terry Frieden contributed to this story.

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