Japanese Firm To Pay $54.6M Over Bribery Charges

HOUSTON (AP) — Justice Department officials say a Japanese company that helped a former Halliburton Co. subsidiary bribe Nigerian officials to win more than $6 billion in construction contracts has pleaded guilty to federal charges and agreed to pay nearly $55 million in fines.

Officials announced Tuesday that Tokyo-based Marubeni Corp. had been hired by a joint venture of four companies, including Houston-based KBR. It was to bribe Nigerian government officials in order to win engineering and construction contracts for a liquefied natural gas plant on the African nation's Bonny Island.

The bribery scheme occurred for about 10 years, through 2004.

Prosecutors will drop charges against Marubeni in two years if it follows a corporate compliance program.

The four companies in the joint venture have previously pleaded guilty in Houston federal court.