Ex-KBR chief pleads guilty to bribery

WASHINGTON The Justice Department said Albert "Jack" Stanley entered a guilty plea in federal court in Houston to conspiring in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials in return for engineering and construction contracts.

Under his plea agreement, Stanley, 65, faces a sentence of seven years and payment of $10.8 million in restitution.

The seven-year term is among the longest sentences to be meted out in cases involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials or company executives to obtain or retain business. A number of U.S. companies have been charged with violating the law in recent years.

Stanley acknowledged in his plea that a four-company joint venture including KBR paid about $182 million to consulting companies that then paid bribes to several Nigerian government officials.

In a separate settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Stanley agreed to an injunction against future violations of the securities laws and to cooperate in the SEC's ongoing investigation. He neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in that settlement.

The Justice Department and the SEC have been investigating for some time the alleged bribery scheme in Nigeria involving Houston-based Kellogg, Brown & Root, now called KBR, and three other companies -- from France, Italy and Japan. The investigation centered on a contract for a $4 billion Nigerian liquefied natural gas plant that was awarded in 1995 to a consortium of the four companies.

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