Not a surprise and not new
Halliburton has previously said it received an anonymous e- mail in December 2010 alleging that current and former employees violated Halliburton’s own business-conduct codes and the FCPA, mainly through its dealings with an Angolan vendor. The e-mail has alleged “conflicts of interest, self-dealing and the failure to act on alleged violations,” Halliburton has said in federal filings.
FCPA is the 1977 law requiring that US companies don’t illegally bribe foreign officials as part of business and that SEC accounting standards are used by foreign firms with US listed securities.
Plutocracy is an ignored problem in emerging economies. The World Bank, IMF and G8 countries have not resolved that any monetary aid is in too many cases simply wealth multipliers for crony politicians who are trading resource wealth and labor for personal enrichment.
This will all result in a fine and business as usual.
The company first disclosed the Angola investigation in October 2011. It said then it self-reported to the DOJ and had ‘met with the DOJ and the SEC to brief them on the status of our investigation and provided them documents.’ The SEC issued the subpoenas after that initial disclosure.
Halliburton is one of the biggest oil and gas services companies in the world. It operates in about 80 countries with nearly 70,000 employees. Revenues last year were $24 billion.
The company’s shares trade on the NYSE under the symbol HAL.
In 2009, Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR paid $579 million to resolve criminal and civil FCPA charges. KBR was part of a consortium that paid about $180 million in bribes to Nigerian officials. The consortium won $6 billion in contracts to build LNG facilities on Bonny Island, Nigeria.
Even though this is a “largest ever” fine, two things remain: the countries where these offenses are taking place use shell “consulting” firms to be able to send money directly to cronies and for companies to get timely access to boundless resources, they will happily pay the SEC fine and these bribes in the order of millions to make billions.