A US judge on Thursday 23rd February pronounced a 21 month jail sentence for an ex-consultant for KBR Inc. The 63 year old British consultant, Jeffrey Tesler, was indicted for his role in a massive plot to win $6 billion in contracts for a liquefied natural gas facility by bribing Nigerian government officials. Tesler, who is also a lawyer, pleaded guilty almost a year ago to one count of conspiracy to violate and one count of violating the bribery law known as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
The scheme involved KBR and three foreign companies paying fees to a Gibraltar consulting company controlled by Tesler who in turn used the money to bribe Nigerian government officials.
“I accepted the system of corruption. I turned a blind eye to what was happening” Tesler said. He also said he felt “great remorse” and that high-level Nigerian officials he made contact with in London had drawn him into the system.
The former chief executive of KBR, Albert Stanley, who pleaded guilty in 2008, was also sentenced to 30 months imprisonment.”The misconduct here was serious, ongoing and deeply hurtful,” U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison said before handing down Stanley’s sentence, which also includes 3 years of probation.
KBR was previously a unit of oil services firm Halliburton but was spun off in 2007 and in 2009 they pleaded guilty to paying $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials to secure the $6 billion contract.