Oil field services giant Halliburton will pay nearly $30m to resolve allegations of bribery in Angola, US regulators announced Thursday.
Former Halliburton vice president Jeannot Lorenz also agreed to pay a $75,000 fine for falsifying the company’s books and circumventing internal controls, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.
Lorenz steered $13m in contracts to a local company owned by a former Halliburton employee with ties to an official at the Angolan state oil company Sonangol.
The official then approved lucrative contracts for Halliburton, bringing in profits of $14 million for the Houston-based company, the SEC said.
In settling the case, Halliburton agreed to surrender the profits, with $1.2 million in interest, and to pay another $14m in fines.
The Justice Department, which also enforces US foreign bribery laws, will take no action in this case, Halliburton said in a statement.
The company said the investigation began in late 2010 when the company itself received an anonymous tip.
“Halliburton promptly reported the allegation to the Department of Justice, conducted a thorough internal investigation and cooperated with investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the DOJ.”
Halliburton settled the matter without admitting or denying wrongdoing, a common practice in civil enforcement matters, but has agreed to hire an outside consultant to oversee the company’s anti-corruption practices in Africa.
The US is the leading enforcer of laws which criminalize paying bribes to foreign officials to win business. But more than 40 developed and middle-income countries have adopted an international treaty requiring that they do likewise.