Oil Driller Pays $1.4 Million for Bribes in Latin America

(CN) – Contract driller Helmrich & Payne agreed to pay $1 million to settle claims it paid off Customs officials in Argentina and Venezuela to import and export goods illegally and duck taxes, federal prosecutors said.

     Helmrich & Payne, a Delaware corporation headquartered in Tulsa, provides oil drilling rigs, equipment and personnel on a contract basis in the United States and South America. It has subsidiaries in Argentina and Venezuela.
     The company says it investigated and took responsibility for the actions of its subsidiaries, employees and agents who made the improper payments, and voluntarily disclosed it.
     The Department of Justice said it will not prosecute the company or its subsidiaries if Helmrich satisfies the agreement.
     In a related matter, Helmrich on Thursday settled with the SEC by agreeing to pay more than $375,000 in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest.

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