German engineering co to pay $32 mln over U.S. corruption charges
WASHINGTON Dec 9 (Reuters) - German engineering company Bilfinger SE will pay $32 million to resolve U.S. criminal charges that it bribed Nigerian officials to obtain contracts on a gas project in the African nation, the Justice Department said on Monday.
Prosecutors charged the company with paying more than $6 million in bribes, in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Bilfinger worked with others to inflate the price of a bid by 3 percent to cover the cost of the payments, prosecutors said.
The Justice Department said it agreed to defer the charges for three years and drop them if Bilfinger improves its controls and hires an independent monitor for 18 months to assess the company's compliance.
Bilfinger officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
Prosecutors previously resolved charges with Bilfinger's collaborator on the bribes, Willbros Group Inc., and with three former Willbros executives or consultants who pleaded guilty. A fourth remains a fugitive.