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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


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.


References
The Lawyer  [Publication date: 14/2/2007] 'Cads and CC advise on GE-Vetco scandal'
   http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=124168&d=122&h=24&f=46
[ Date URL accessed: 14/2/2007 ]

Financial Times  [Publication date: 7/2/2007] 'Vetco hit by record fine for bribes'
   http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17014487/
[ Date URL accessed: 7/2/2007 ]

Powell Goldstein LLP  [Publication date: 7/3/2006] 'FCPA Outlook in 2006 - Heightened Enforcement Continues'
   http://www.pogolaw.com/attachments/421.pdf
[ Date URL accessed: 8/5/2006 ]

Broward Daily Business Review  [Publication date: 6/1/2005] 'World joins U.S. in cracking down onbusinesses offering bribes overseas' by Michael D. Goldhaber
[ Date URL accessed: 7/1/2005 ]

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

[ Date URL accessed: 16/5/2005 ]

Mondaq Business Briefing  [Publication date: 9/11/2004] 'ABB AFFILIATES PLEAD GUILTY TO BRIBING NIGERIAN OFFICIALS'
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

Energy Compass  [Publication date: 15/10/2004] 'Corporate: Dirty business' by Angus Rodger
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

Africa Energy Intelligence  [Publication date: 21/7/2004] 'ABB's Bribes'
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

World Markets Analysis  [Publication date: 12/7/2004] 'ABB Vetco Gray-Pleads Guilty-to Charges of Bribery in Nigeria' by Okiemute Akoko
[ Date URL accessed: 7/5/2005 ]

National Law Journal  [Publication date: 12/7/2004] 'Oil company bribery suit settles; Government lays out blueprint for successor liability in resolving case' by Michael D. Goldhaber
[ Date URL accessed: 14/12/2004 ]

  [Publication date: 12/7/2004] 'ABB closes sale of upstream OGP business after ending compliance review UPDATE'
[ Date URL accessed: 14/12/2004 ]

The Houston Chronicle  [Publication date: 10/7/2004] 'Firms admit Nigerian bribery; Two units gave over $ 1 million to influence deals' by NELSON ANTOSH
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

The Houston Chronicle  [Publication date: 10/7/2004] 'Firms admit Nigerian bribery; Two units gave over $ 1 million to influence deals' by NELSON ANTOSH
[ Date URL accessed: 13/7/2004 ]

Financial Times  [Publication date: 8/7/2004] 'ABB faces extra Dollars 6m charge over penalties' by THOMAS CATAN and HAIG SIMONIAN
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

Birmingham Post  [Publication date: 8/7/2004] 'BRIBERY CASES SETTLED'
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

Birmingham Post  [Publication date: 8/7/2004] 'BRIBERY CASES SETTLED'
[ Date URL accessed: 13/7/2004 ]

St. John's Telegram  [Publication date: 7/7/2004] 'Company pleads guilty to paying illegal bribes'
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

Comtex News Network, Inc.  [Publication date: 7/7/2004] 'ABB Soaring on Thin Volume, Settles Bribery Case Clearing Way for Sale'
[ Date URL accessed: 10/1/2005 ]

The New York Times  [Publication date: 7/7/2004] 'ABB Units Fined $10.5 Million for Bribes'
[ Date URL accessed: 13/7/2004 ]

CanWest Interactive  [Publication date: 7/7/2004] 'Company Pleads Guilty to Paying Illegal Bribes'
[ Date URL accessed: 13/7/2004 ]

Associated Press Online  [Publication date: 6/7/2004] 'ABB Subsidiaries Plead Guilty to Bribery' by TED BRIDIS
   http://www.herald-sun.com/business/wire/22-498124.html
[ Date URL accessed: 13/7/2004 ]

Department of Justice  [Publication date: 6/7/2004] '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
[ Date URL accessed: 7/5/2005 ]

Financial Times  [Publication date: 7/7/2003] 'ABB units admit foreign bribe charges ILLICIT PAYMENTS' by THOMAS CATAN
[ Date URL accessed: 14/12/2004 ]

Financial Times  'ABB faces extra Dollars 6m charge over penalties' by THOMAS CATAN and HAIG SIMONIAN
[ Date URL accessed: 14/12/2004 ]

  'Two units of Swiss-based ABB admit Nigeria bribe, pay US fine'
[ Date URL accessed: 13/1/2005 ]


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