The Justice Department is expanding a probe of allegations that former Halliburton Co. employees accepted inappropriate payments relating to company projects abroad, according to company records filed with the government yesterday.
A target of the investigation is A. Jack Stanley, who was named chairman of Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root Inc. when Vice President Cheney served as Halliburton's chief executive.
Stanley, who left his post at KBR last year, and another employee were fired from consulting jobs in June after Halliburton officials said the two accepted "improper personal benefits" in connection with a $5 billion project in the 1990s to build a natural gas liquefaction plant in Nigeria.
Stanley joined KBR when the company acquired Dresser Industries Inc. in 1998 and Dresser's subsidiary M.W. Kellogg Co. was merged with Halliburton's Brown and Root.
Yesterday, in a quarterly financial report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Halliburton officials said the Justice Department may be examining Stanley's involvement in more than one project. "We understand that the Department of Justice has expanded its investigation to include whether Mr. Stanley may have received payments in connection with bidding practices on certain foreign projects," the report said.
Stanley's lawyer declined to comment. Halliburton spokeswoman Wendy Hall said the company is conducting its own internal investigation.
The expanded Justice probe follows an announcement by Halliburton six weeks ago that the SEC had formalized its own investigation of whether KBR and several other companies in a partnership called TSKJ paid $180 million in bribes over several years to secure the Nigerian deal.
Both agencies are investigating possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The SEC has subpoenaed records from Halliburton; it also has subpoenaed Stanley, according to the company records filed yesterday.