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Bribery scandal rocks Big Oil

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,298
511
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Bribery scandal rocks Big Oil

A former Halliburton exec has pleaded guilty to being in cahoots with crooked foreign officials. He's now helping US investigators, and a much wider crackdown is expected to unfold.

By ProPublica and PBS' "Frontline"
In the world of Big Oil, Albert "Jack" Stanley was legendary for winning billion-dollar contracts in Third World countries as the Halliburton (HAL, news, msgs) executive who knew all the secrets of deals in places like Malaysia, Egypt and Yemen.

In the wake of his admission in a guilty plea last week that he had resorted to bribes, kickbacks and high-level corruption to secure deals in Nigeria, however, Stanley now lies at the center of a widening scandal in the oil industry that has implications for corporations and governments across the globe.

Stanley's case is the first in what federal officials believe will be a string of indictments in coming months against U.S. corporate executives who have participated in bribing foreign officials in recent years.

By agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors, Stanley, who ran KBR (KBR, news, msgs) when it was a subsidiary to Halliburton, promises to become a hammer for federal investigators seeking to crack open additional cases under a 30-year-old statute designed to halt overseas corporate corruption. About 80 cases involving major corporations accused of overseas bribery were under investigation as of last year, a high-level Justice Department official said.

In addition, Stanley's cooperation may provide a new tool for encouraging industrial countries in Europe and Asia to get more serious about enforcing anti-bribery laws against corporations based there. The $182 million in bribes were allegedly paid not just by Halliburton but by its partners, an international consortium of engineering companies from France, Italy and Japan. The United Kingdom has jurisdiction, too, because much of the bribery scheme was, according to court documents, hatched in London, where Stanley maintained a sumptuous home.

"We are very pleased to see that there has been an uptick in enforcement not only in the U.S. but in other countries as well,'' said Patrick McCormick, a spokesman for Transparency International-USA, an anti-corruption group funded by donations from government development agencies and private businesses and foundations. "We are hoping that (this case) is a sign of things to come."

A nightmare unfolding
The intensifying level of this government effort, pushed by a Republican administration normally friendly to business, cuts two ways for American business executives.

For those who may have been involved in bribery to secure construction contracts or equipment sales in developing countries around the world, it represents a nightmare.

The active involvement of the FBI is particularly worrisome to such people. In contrast to white-collar investigations handled by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI is believed to be prepared to use techniques more familiar to investigations of organized crime, including wiretapping and undercover agents.Stanley's high profile and punishment -- he faces a potential seven-year sentence, the longest in the history of the federal statute outlawing the bribing of foreign officials -- also signal the federal government's willingness to seek long prison terms rather than fines and court injunctions.

For those who fret that they have been losing out to foreign competitors in jurisdictions less likely to prosecute bribery, it offers hope that the playing field will soon be leveled.

Stanley has already acknowledged paying bribes to unnamed senior Nigerian officials, although reports have identified the primary recipient as Nigeria?s late president, Sani Abacha. Stanley also has admitted receiving kickbacks of $10.8 million from contracts that Halliburton and predecessor companies signed with governments in Nigeria, Malaysia, Egypt and Yemen. Government officials in those countries, with the exception of Abacha, have not yet been implicated, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Stanley's testimony may also pose concerns for Vice President Dick Cheney, who ran Halliburton between 1995 and 2000, when Stanley was appointed as KBR's chief executive officer. Cheney has consistently denied wrongdoing.

Law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said that in previous interviews, Stanley repeatedly said that then-CEO Cheney had no knowledge of the bribes. At the time, however, Stanley was not a cooperating witness, a stance that changed in June when he was confronted with evidence of his involvement in the bribery scheme.

The vice president's office declined to comment, citing the continuing litigation
This is what happens when the ends justify the means all for the sake of profits along with little or lax regulation and oversight by the government, hopefully the prosecuters can go all the way to the top crooks in this mess.
 

dphantom

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2005
4,511
140
106
This is great. While it has been happening for decades, it is nice to see the administration take the lead in trying to clean up corruption. Though in other countries, this type of activity is sometimes seen as just a cost of business.
 

Genx87

Lifer
Apr 8, 2002
41,061
494
126
This shit has been going on since the beginning of time. One my case studies in a management class dealt with Enron trying to secure the rights to build a natural gas power plant in India in the mid to late 1990s. In India the custom was for business to donate to politicians who authorize the permits and zoning rights. This was nothing more than a bribe which Enron refused to pay. When they refused to pay the politicians organized labor to protest and hamper any efforts to develop the properties. The state initially granted zoning rights then tried to rescind them. In the end the Indian legal system sided with the state and Enron had to walk from the project with millions in losses from the initial planning and legal costs and any property the developed.

It was interesting to learn about the different customs you will run into around the world.
 

CPA

Elite Member
Nov 19, 2001
30,322
4
0
Originally posted by: dphantom
This is great. While it has been happening for decades, it is nice to see the administration take the lead in trying to clean up corruption. Though in other countries, this type of activity is sometimes seen as just a cost of business.
But, but, but I thought this administration was crooked and in cahoots with the likes of Haliburton...especially that evil, ninny Cheney.
 

RightIsWrong

Diamond Member
Apr 29, 2005
5,649
0
0
Kudos to the Bush administration and the JoD for not turning away from this!! May all of those found guilty be sued to high heaven and rot in hell.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
10,970
242
106
Originally posted by: dphantom
This is great. While it has been happening for decades, it is nice to see the administration take the lead in trying to clean up corruption. Though in other countries, this type of activity is sometimes seen as just a cost of business.
No kidding. I've heard stories where you have to pay the ER nurse so you can see the doctor without waiting too long.
 

Dari

Lifer
Oct 25, 2002
17,134
38
91
Originally posted by: Genx87
This shit has been going on since the beginning of time. One my case studies in a management class dealt with Enron trying to secure the rights to build a natural gas power plant in India in the mid to late 1990s. In India the custom was for business to donate to politicians who authorize the permits and zoning rights. This was nothing more than a bribe which Enron refused to pay. When they refused to pay the politicians organized labor to protest and hamper any efforts to develop the properties. The state initially granted zoning rights then tried to rescind them. In the end the Indian legal system sided with the state and Enron had to walk from the project with millions in losses from the initial planning and legal costs and any property the developed.

It was interesting to learn about the different customs you will run into around the world.
It isn't that far from home. English law allows their companies to bribe foreign officials. That's why BAE was able to get that huge Saudi deal.
 

SSSnail

Lifer
Nov 29, 2006
17,461
80
86
Don't worry, he'll die on a sky trip next week. Probably in some warm places somewhere.
 

IceBergSLiM

Lifer
Jul 11, 2000
29,933
2
81
Originally posted by: SSSnail
Don't worry, he'll die on a sky trip next week. Probably in some warm places somewhere.
No his heart will randomly explode like that famous news anchor last month. It will be blamed on pressure changes from flying in an airplane.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,566
5,821
126
it's not legal to bribe someone, but it is legal to pay gov't officials grease payments.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
By agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors, Stanley, who ran KBR (KBR, news, msgs) when it was a subsidiary to Halliburton, promises to become a hammer for federal investigators seeking to crack open additional cases under a 30-year-old statute designed to halt overseas corporate corruption.
Hm, 30 years ago - that would place it right during the democrats, passing the anti-corruption law.

How fitting that the Republicans today are caught up as its violators, with Republican-linked corporation KBR, the criminal CEO directly linked to Cheney, appointed CEO under him.

Perhaps the democrats going after Gonzales for his politicizing the US attorney, had the benefit of letting the attorneys investigate some Republican-linked crimes again.
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
57,402
5,752
126
Now if only Dick Cheney could be somehow implicated in all this...I'd LOVE to see that POS in handcuffs...:D
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: 1prophet
-snip-
This is what happens when the ends justify the means all for the sake of profits along with little or lax regulation and oversight by the government, hopefully the prosecuters can go all the way to the top crooks in this mess.
Could just as well say this is another example of the USA imposing it's morals on other foreign countries, and leaves US companies at a competitive disadvantage with foreign companies who may be free to "bribe" foreign officials if that's accepted there. IMO, if the bribes are illegal in that foreign country, they oughtta be the one's prosecuting it.

You bribe in the US, US laws cover it. You bribe over there, let their laws cover it.

Fern
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: RightIsWrong
Kudos to the Bush administration and the JoD for not turning away from this!! May all of those found guilty be sued to high heaven and rot in hell.
Who is gonna be sued, and for what?

Fern
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
46
91
www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: 1prophet
Bribery scandal rocks Big Oil

A former Halliburton exec has pleaded guilty to being in cahoots with crooked foreign officials. He's now helping US investigators, and a much wider crackdown is expected to unfold.


Stanley's testimony may also pose concerns for Vice President Dick Cheney, who ran Halliburton between 1995 and 2000, when Stanley was appointed as KBR's chief executive officer. Cheney has consistently denied wrongdoing.

Law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation said that in previous interviews, Stanley repeatedly said that then-CEO Cheney had no knowledge of the bribes. At the time, however, Stanley was not a cooperating witness, a stance that changed in June when he was confronted with evidence of his involvement in the bribery scheme.

The vice president's office declined to comment, citing the continuing litigation
This is what happens when the ends justify the means all for the sake of profits along with little or lax regulation and oversight by the government, hopefully the prosecuters can go all the way to the top crooks in this mess.
Unless they bring down Cheney and Bush, Epic fail
 

1prophet

Diamond Member
Aug 17, 2005
5,298
511
126
Originally posted by: Fern
Originally posted by: 1prophet
-snip-
This is what happens when the ends justify the means all for the sake of profits along with little or lax regulation and oversight by the government, hopefully the prosecuters can go all the way to the top crooks in this mess.
Could just as well say this is another example of the USA imposing it's morals on other foreign countries, and leaves US companies at a competitive disadvantage with foreign companies who may be free to "bribe" foreign officials if that's accepted there. IMO, if the bribes are illegal in that foreign country, they oughtta be the one's prosecuting it.

You bribe in the US, US laws cover it. You bribe over there, let their laws cover it.

Fern
Only if they go after foreign nationals.

Stanley's case is the first in what federal officials believe will be a string of indictments in coming months against U.S. corporate executives who have participated in bribing foreign officials in recent years.
 

tweaker2

Lifer
Aug 5, 2000
12,294
3,651
136
Hmmmm...seems like friends of Bush and Cheney taking advantage of their close ties to get rid of some undesirable competition or getting some ego-satisfying retaliation in before the dastardly duo leave office.

They must've made quadruplely sure that none of this is blood-letting will ever find it's way back to the crook-in-chief and his mentor. Too bad.

 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: BoomerD
Now if only Dick Cheney could be somehow implicated in all this...I'd LOVE to see that POS in handcuffs...:D
You are way more kinky than I realized.
 

MadRat

Lifer
Oct 14, 1999
11,663
44
91
They need to rush charges to court so Cheney can plead guilty and GW can pardon him for all the problems. Don't count your chickens before they hatch comes to mind....
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,548
345
126
Originally posted by: MadRat
They need to rush charges to court so Cheney can plead guilty and GW can pardon him for all the problems. Don't count your chickens before they hatch comes to mind....
Pardons don't require convictions. I think they should, but they don't, a la Ford and Nixon.
 

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