“I will be disbarred” — Final bit of Nigeria gas bribery scheme blows up

Natural gas bribery scheme leads to attorney disbarment: FCPA forfeiture of $148+m, 2 years prison, disbarment

After being sentenced by a Texas court to 21 months for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations committed during his tenure as KBR Inc.’s attorney, 65-year old Jeffrey Tesler, prone to wearing hats, has now been disbarred by a Disciplinary Tribunal of the Solicitors Regulation Authority for the same conduct: fronting illegal payments on behalf of a consortium of international construction firms in order to obtain approx. $6bn worth of construction work at the Bonny Island gas facility – one of the largest civil construction projects worldwide in 1993.

Bonny Island facilities, Nigeria

“I will be disbarred”

British-Israeli (now former) solicitor Tesler, “who operated from run-down offices in Tottenham, north London, admitted that he acted as a middleman for the consortium and routed the payments through bank accounts in Monaco and Switzerland between 1994 and 2004,” according to reports.  “US prosecutors discovered that Tesler arranged for $1m in $100 notes to be loaded into a pilot’s briefcase and then passed on to a politician’s hotel room to finance a political party in Nigeria.”  (See U.S. v. Tesler et al., case number 4:09-cr-00098, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas).  At his sentencing hearing before a Texas judge, Tesler predicted his own professional fate by saying, “… I will be disbarred.”

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