Bribery, Fraud & Tax Evasion
Unaoil, a lobbying firm based in Monaco, is being investigated by authorities in Australia, the U.K. and the U.S. for allegedly helping companies around the world pay bribes for oil concessions and contracts. Among the companies under scrutiny is Texas-based Kellogg Brown & Root, former subsidiary of Halliburton.
At Halliburton's recent annual shareholders meeting in Houston, all was remarkably staid as the company celebrated its $4 billion in 2008 operating profits, a striking 22% return at a time when many companies are announcing record losses. Just three months ago, however, Halliburton didn't hesitate to pay $382 million in fines to the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the settlement of a controversial KBR gas project in Nigeria in which the company admitted to paying a $180 million bribe to government officials.