Four former ABB Ltd. employees, including a former finance executive, have agreed to settle civil charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission that they violated the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The four are Ian N. Campbell, a former vice president of finance; John Samson, a former regional sales manager for West Africa; John G. A. Munro, a former senior vice president of operations, and John H. Whelan, a former vice president of sales.
They were accused of participating in a scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to help them secure a $180 million contract to provide equipment for an oil drilling project in Nigeria’s offshore Bonga Oil Field. The four agreed to settle the charges without admitting or denying the allegations
According to the SEC’s complaint, Swiss-based ABB paid about $1 million in bribes between 1999 and 2001 to officials of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the Nigerian state-owned agency responsible for overseeing oil exploration and production in Nigeria.
The Commission alleged that NAPIMS officials were given bribes — in both cash and gifts — to provide ABB with confidential competitor bid information, and were rewarded for giving favorable consideration to ABB’s bid on the Bonga contract, which ultimately was awarded to ABB in early 2001.
Under the settlement, Samson agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty while the other three each agreed to pay a $40,000 penalty.
In addition, Samson was ordered to pay $64,675 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest.