Weatherford International to pay $253 million in penalties

Nov. 26, 2013 at 4:47 PM
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HOUSTON, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. oilfield service firm Weatherford International will pay nearly $253 million to resolve trade sanction and bribery allegations, authorities said.

The Treasury Department said the company would pay $50 million to satisfy charges brought by the Office of Foreign Assets Control that concern Weatherford doing business in Iran, Cuba and Sudan from 2003 through 2008 despite sanctions making it illegal for U.S. companies to do business in those countries.

The Treasury said that a $91 million settlement with the OFAC would be satisfied with the $50 million payment and with $50 million paid to the Department of Commerce "for the same pattern of conduct."

The company earned $118 million in revenue and $31.6 million in profits by doing business in sanctioned countries, the Treasury Department said.

In addition, the company settled charges of bribery and gifts provided to foreign officials in Angola, Algeria, Congo and other countries that were filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission in a federal court in Houston, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The complaint says a Weatherford subsidiary paid $1.4 million in kickbacks to Iraqi officials in 2002 to secure contracts to to sell equipment as part of a United Nations Oil for Food relief program, the Journal said.

A portion of the fines, $1.875 million, was levied because the company was not cooperative early in the investigation.

"This matter is now behind us. We move forward fully committed to a sustainable culture of compliance," said Chief Executive Officer Bernard Duroc-Danner.

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