Occidental Petroleum Corp. raised more than $28 million from overbillings that the company could use to make questionable payments between 1969 and 1977, according to a published report.
The alleged overbillings were revealed during a recent closed hearing before a Ohio examiner, who was listening to arguments by Mead Corp. against a takeover attempt by Oxy, the published reports said.
This disclosure was not included in a public filing by Oxy last April, which was made in response to a court order to reveal all questionable payments since 1969.
The Arpil report was prepared by Oxy's accountant, Arthur Andersen & Co., as part of the settlement terms of a Securities and Exchange Commission suit.
Stuart L. Shapiro, an attorney for Mead, allegedly told the Ohio examiner that Oxy's 80-year-old chairman, Armand Hammer, had not cooperated fully with the Arthur Andersen probe.
The attorney reportedly claimed that Hammer had not answered questions from Arthur Andersen about illegal political contributions and payments to foreign government officials.
Oxy under Hammer has been investigated almost continuously by the SEC over several years for a long series of questionable business practices.
The company and its chairman have been sued by the SEC on three separate occasions, each time agreeing to correct the alleged violations of the securities laws while neither admitting nor denying the SEC allegations.
The SEC has begun yet another investigation of Oxy as a result of the revelations that are surfacing during the Mead-Oxy merger fight.
The Arthur Andersen audit, made public last spring, said Oxy made contributions to numerous state and national politicans. It also revealed that the international oil company made secret payments to government officials in foreign countries where it operates.