Man with Rowan ties pleads guilty to bribing foreign officials
By Mark Wineka
Jack Stanley, who has ties to Rowan County, faces up to seven years in prison and has been ordered to pay restitution of $10.8 million after he pleaded guilty Sept. 3 to federal bribery charges.
A 1960 graduate of East Rowan High School, Stanley is the former chief executive and chairman of Kellogg Brown and Root (KBR), a construction firm subsidiary of Halliburton Co. in Houston, Texas.
Vice President Dick Cheney headed Halliburton between 1995 and 2000.
Stanley and his wife are building a house in the Forest Glen subdivision of Salisbury. They have lived in Houston.
According to federal charges, Stanley ó whose full name is Albert Jackson Stanley ó played a lead role in establishing a $180 million slush fund used to pay bribes to Nigerian officials so that KBR and three other companies would win engineering and construction contracts connected to the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas facilities.
Stanley also pleaded guilty to receiving some $10.8 million in kickbacks from a consultant KBR hired at his behest. The money kicked back to him in various deals was wired to three Swiss bank accounts, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court’s Houston division.
Stanley, 65, has agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in exchange for his prison sentence’s possibly being reduced. The government has requested that his sentence be deferred until his cooperation is complete.
In the federal criminal proceeding, Stanley pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges. The first count charged him with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Practices Corruption Act.
The second count charged him with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
The seven-year term against Stanley would be the longest sentence to date against someone in a case involving the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
As part of the criminal plea agreement, he will “fully cooperate” by agreeing to testify before a grand jury or in any administrative proceedings. He must voluntarily attend any interviews and conferences the government might request. He also must provide the government all documents in his possession related to the investigation.
Stanley has to make a full financial disclosure of his assets to the government by the time of his sentencing.
He agrees that as a result of his criminal conduct his former employer incurred a monetary loss of $10.8 million, and that is the amount he must pay as restitution.
KBR was split from Halliburton in April 2007.
Meanwhile, Stanley also has settled with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission without admitting or denying the commission’s allegations. The SEC had charged Stanley with violating the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
In his settlement with the SEC, he also has agreed to cooperate with its ongoing investigation.
The government alleges that over a 10-year period, Stanley conspired with others to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain construction contracts worth more than $6 billion.
The contracts went to a four-company joint venture of which KBR was a member.
The government says Stanley and others met with Nigerian officials or their representatives on at least four separate occasions to arrange the bribes. To conceal the payment, Stanley and others entered into sham contracts with two “agents” to funnel the money to the Nigerian officials.
As money went to the four-company joint venture to build the liquefied natural gas trains, it paid the agents $180 million, from which the bribes were doled out.
The various transactions in question occurred between 1995 and 2004.
Stanley was senior representative on the steering committee of the joint venture, which retained and compensated the agents.
When the plea agreement was reached Sept. 3, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Friedrich said in a statement: “Today’s plea demonstrates that corporate executives who bribe foreign government officials in return for lucrative business deals can expect to face prosecution.”
The mail and wire fraud charges stem from Stanley’s receiving kickbacks from a consultant he caused KBR to hire in connection with liquefied natural gas projects in several countries.