SEC Charges Parker Drilling Company with FCPA Violations

SEC v. Parker Drilling Company, Case No. 1:13-cv-461 (E.D. Va.).  On April 16, 2013, the SEC announced it filed settled FCPA charges against Parker Drilling Company, an international drilling services firm.  According to the SEC, Parker Drilling authorized payments to a Nigerian agent totaling $1.25 million back in 2004.  The payments were authorized even though Parker’s former senior executives knew that the money would be used to “entertain” Nigerian officials who were involved in resolving Parker Drilling’s ongoing customs problems.  After the Nigerian agent’s work, a previous customs fine was reduced by more than $3 million and Parker Drilling was allowed sell its rigs.  Without admitting or denying the charges, Parker Drilling agreed to entry of a final judgment ordering it to pay disgorgement of $3,050,000 plus pre-judgment interest of $1,040,818 and enjoining it from violating Sections 30A, 13(b)(2)(A), and 13(b)(2)(B) of the Exchange Act.  In a related criminal action, the Department of Justice entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with Parker Drilling in which the company will pay more than $11 million in penalties.

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