Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. has announced that about $70 million may have been embezzled from the company by a former officer during a period of more than five years.
On November 9, senior management at the onshore drilling contractor received information about unauthorized payments made by the company for assets that were not delivered. The company did not name the officer. Patterson-UTI also hasn’t yet determined what effect the finding would have on previous financial results.
The company board’s audit committee has hired lawyers and forensic accountants to investigate the situation. Patterson-UTI stated that it intends to cooperate fully with government authorities, that it has told the Securities and Exchange Commission about the matter, and that it’s in the process of informing criminal enforcement agencies about it.
Separately, Patterson-UTI announced on November 3 that Jonathan Nelson resigned as chief financial officer “for personal reasons.”
Nelson was replaced by John Vollmer, senior vice president for corporate development. Vollmer, who will continue in his corporate development role as well as perform his duties as CFO, formerly served as senior vice president and CFO of UTI Energy Corp. from 1998 until its merger with Patterson in May 2001.