On July 7, 2010, the court clerk for the federal district court in Houston stamped and filed a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and a Dutch oil and gas contractor, along with the contractor’s present and prior parent companies. Attachment A of the settlement agreement outlined the mechanics of an international bribery scheme that revolved around Nigeria’s liquefied natural gas reserves. Those reserves, located on a dot in the Niger Delta called Bonny Island, had inspired four multinational companies to form a joint venture, based in Portugal, to bid on a series of construction contracts. The gas also prompted, according to the settlement, $180 million worth of illicit payments in order to win $6 billion worth of those contracts—monies that changed hands in at least three different continents from 1995 to 2004.

The Justice Department spent the better part of a decade investigating the plot as a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The investigation ultimately led to guilty pleas from the two agents who had been commissioned to pay out the bribes, as well as five settlements of criminal penalties, including one from each member of the joint venture. Collectively, the Bonny Island consortium became known as “TSKJ,” for each member’s initials: Technip S.A. of France, Snamprogetti Netherlands B.V., Kellogg Brown & Root LLC (KBR), a former subsidiary of Halliburton Corporation of the United States, and JGC Corporation of Japan. In January the Justice Department entered a $54.6 million settlement with a fifth company, Marubeni Corporation of Japan, for helping the venture to dole out bribes.

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