Weatherford International hit with FCPA fine

Oilfield services company to pay over a quarter of a billion dollars

Weatherford International, an oilfield services company, has agreed to a settlement to resolve probes into a number of matters, including bribery, export control and violations of sanctions.

The company, which was founded in Texas but is now based in Geneva, was the subject of multiple investigations. Weatherford made two deferred-prosecution agreements and issued guilty pleas from three of its units, in an attempt to resolve the probes. The primary result, was the payment of $252.7 million in penalties and fines, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

“This case demonstrates how loose controls and an anemic compliance environment can foster foreign bribery and fraud by a company’s subsidiaries around the globe,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman in a statement.

The breakdown of the fines covered a range of wrongdoing, including:

 

  • $87.2 million – a deferred-prosecution agreement with the Justice Department to resolve allegations of foreign bribery
  • $65.6 million – disgorgement and civil penalties to be paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission
  • $100 million – payment by the company and four of its subsidiaries as part of a separate deferred-prosecution agreement involving sanctions violations

Among the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act allegations, Weatherford is accused of bribing officials of a state-run Algerian oil company with a variety of trips. The SEC has determined that Weatherford made profits of over $59 million as a result of various bribes. The company also engaged in business in a variety of countries that have known terrorist affiliations, such as Cuba, Iran, Syria and Sudan.

 

For more new on the FCPA, check out the stories below:

 

Solving the puzzle of the FCPA in China

Risk & reward: The evolving role of the chief compliance officer

Demystifying the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Part I)

Senior Editor

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A. in English Literature...

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