Julius Berger to pay $32m to USA for corruption in Nigeria

2013-12-15
THE NATION Newspaper

The US Justice Department and FBI said Tuesday the German-based international engineering company, Bilfinger SE, has agreed to pay a $32 million penalty for charges relating to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Bilfinger's Nigerian construction subsidiary, Julius Berger PLC was charged with bribing Nigerian government officials to obtain and retain contracts related to work for the Eastern Gas Gathering System (EGGS). A project valued at $387 million.

The agreement follows a three count criminal charge filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

According to the complaint from late 2003 through 2005, Julius Berger conspired with Willbros Group Inc., and others to make payments totaling $6 million to unnamed Nigerian government officials to obtain EGGS contracts. Julius Berger and Willbros formed a joint venture and inflated the joint venture's bid by three percent to cover the cost of the bribe. Part of the conspiracy involved Julius berger employees bribing Nigerian officials with cash employees sent from Germany to Nigeria.

The Justice Department and Bilfinger agreed to resolve the charges by entering a deferred prosecution agreement for a term of three years. Bilfinger has also agreed to implement internal controls, continue cooperating with the Justice Department, and retain a corporate compliance monitor for 18 months.

Prosecutors also resolved charges with Bilfinger's collaborator on the bribe, Willbros, and three former Willbros executives or consultants who pleaded guilty, and a fourth who remains a fugitive.



 

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