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ABB Vetco Gray Inc. of Houston and ABB Vetco Gray U.K. Ltd. Of Aberdeen Disclose Suspicious Payments Made in Nigeria : Corruption Case


In July 2004, U.S. and British subsidiaries of ABB Ltd., a Swiss equipment-maker, pleaded guilty to paying more than $1 million in illegal bribes to win oil contracts in Nigeria.

ABB Vetco Gray Inc. of Houston and ABB Vetco Gray U.K. Ltd. Of Aberdeen, Scotland, disclosed the suspicious payments to the government in 2003 and formally pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston, USA in July 2004. Each company agreed to pay a fine of $5.25 million.

The companies were accused of paying bribes in exchange for confidential bid information and favourable recommendations from Nigerian government agencies overseeing seven oil and gas construction contracts.

Each company was charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act; the U.K. firm was charged under a section of the law added in 1998 that prohibits foreign companies from any act involving the bribe of a foreign official in the United States.

In a related civil case by the Securities and Exchange Commission, ABB agreed in a settlement to pay $5.9 million more in restitution and interest.

The parent company also agreed to pay a $10.5 million civil penalty, which was considered to be covered by the two subsidiaries' payments of fines of the same amount in the criminal proceeding.


The following lists all references contained in our database that are relevant to this briefing
The Houston Chronicle [7/10/2004] 'Firms admit Nigerian bribery; Two units gave over $ 1 million to influence deals' by NELSON ANTOSH [Source ID = 9229]

Birmingham Post [7/8/2004] 'BRIBERY CASES SETTLED' [Source ID = 9231]

The New York Times [7/7/2004] 'ABB Units Fined $10.5 Million for Bribes' [Source ID = 9234]

CanWest Interactive [7/7/2004] 'Company Pleads Guilty to Paying Illegal Bribes' [Source ID = 9235]

Associated Press Online [7/6/2004] 'ABB Subsidiaries Plead Guilty to Bribery' by TED BRIDIS: http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 9237]

 [7/12/2004] 'ABB closes sale of upstream OGP business after ending compliance review UPDATE' : http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 12760]

National Law Journal [7/12/2004] 'Oil company bribery suit settles; Government lays out blueprint for successor liability in resolving case' by Michael D. Goldhaber: http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 12761]

Financial Times [] 'ABB faces extra Dollars 6m charge over penalties' by THOMAS CATAN and HAIG SIMONIAN: http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 12763]

Financial Times [7/7/2003] 'ABB units admit foreign bribe charges ILLICIT PAYMENTS' by THOMAS CATAN: http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 12765]

Broward Daily Business Review [1/6/2005] 'World joins U.S. in cracking down onbusinesses offering bribes overseas' by Michael D. Goldhaber: http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 12769]

Energy Compass [10/15/2004] 'Corporate: Dirty business' by Angus Rodger: http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html [Source ID = 12772]

Mondaq Business Briefing [11/29/2004] 'SECTION: ECONOMIC ANAYSIS; LEGISLATION & REGULATION; CORPORATE FINANCE; CONSULTANCY' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12776]

Mondaq Business Briefing [11/9/2004] 'ABB AFFILIATES PLEAD GUILTY TO BRIBING NIGERIAN OFFICIALS' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12778]

Africa Energy Intelligence [7/21/2004] 'ABB's Bribes' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12789]

World Markets Analysis [7/12/2004] 'ABB Vetco Gray-Pleads Guilty-to Charges of Bribery in Nigeria' by Okiemute Akoko: http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12791]

The Houston Chronicle [7/10/2004] 'Firms admit Nigerian bribery; Two units gave over $ 1 million to influence deals' by NELSON ANTOSH: http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12792]

Birmingham Post [7/8/2004] 'BRIBERY CASES SETTLED' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12793]

Financial Times [7/8/2004] 'ABB faces extra Dollars 6m charge over penalties' by THOMAS CATAN and HAIG SIMONIAN: http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12794]

Comtex News Network, Inc. [7/7/2004] 'ABB Soaring on Thin Volume, Settles Bribery Case Clearing Way for Sale' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12795]

St. John's Telegram [7/7/2004] 'Company pleads guilty to paying illegal bribes' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12796]

 [] 'Two units of Swiss-based ABB admit Nigeria bribe, pay US fine' : http://www.pogolaw.com/attachment.html/articles/1374/International_Client+Alert+11.12.04.pdf [Source ID = 12820]

Department of Justice [7/6/2004] 'ABB VETCO GRAY, ABB VETCO GRAY UK PLEAD GUILTY TO FOREIGN BRIBERY CHARGES' by Department of Justice: http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2004/July/04_crm_465.htm [Source ID = 13609]


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