Wednesday, May 14, 2008
The SEC filed a settled civil action against Willbros Group, Inc. and several former employees alleging that they violated the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the antifraud provisions of the federal securities laws. According to the complaint, the company also violated the reporting, books and records and internal controls provisions of the Securities Exchange Act. Willbros Group agreed to settle the charges, without admitting or denying the Commission's allegations.
According to the SEC's complaint, the Willbros Group engaged in multiple schemes to bribe foreign officials in Nigeria and Ecuador and also implemented a fraudulent tax avoidance scheme in Bolivia. Willbros Group agreed to consent to the entry of a judgment that permanently enjoins it from future violations of these provisions and that orders it to pay disgorgement of $8.9 million, plus prejudgment interest of $1.4 million.