(CN) – The United States is seeking the extradition of two British citizens, including a consultant for Kellogg Brown & Root, who have been charged with paying bribes of $132 million to Nigerian government officials in order to secure $6 billion in contracts for natural gas facilities.
According to the indictment, Jeffrey Tesler, 60, and Wojciech Chodan, 71, organized the transfer of about $132 million in bribes.
Kellogg, Brow, & Root Inc. is one of four companies which pursued joint venture construction contracts. Chodan, the former salesperson and consultant of KBR, purportedly discussed using Tesler to pay Nigerian officials to secure contracts.
Tesler reportedly was hired in 1995 as the agent of the joint venture to bribe high level Nigerian officials and the group was awarded four contracts between 1995 and 2004.
The indictment also alleges that the former CEO of KBR, Albert Stanley, met with Nigerian officials of the executive branch to plan the bribes, which are said to have ultimately funneled $132 million to Nigerian officials under the guise of consulting contracts to Tesler, who then paid the officials.
The persuasion of government officials was important in securing the contracts because the government owns 49% of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the largest share.
Tesler was arrested Thursday in London. The arrest warrant is still out for Chodan.
If Tesler and Chodan are found guilty, they will face a maximum of 55 years in prison. The indictment also seeks from them $130 million.
In a related case, the successor company, Kellogg, Brown, and Root LLC., paid a $402 million fine after pleading guilty to bribing Nigerian officials.