Layne Christensen Company Charged By SEC For Bribes

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The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Layne Christensen and Company, a global water management, construction and drilling company, with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by receiving $3.9 million in unlawful benefits from bribes paid through subsidiaries in Africa and Australia. The company self-reported its conduct and Layne agreed to pay $5 million to settle charges against the SEC. Among the findings in the SEC's order, it claimed Layne paid $800,000 to foreign officials in Mali, Guinea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to reduce tax liability and avoid penalties for delinquent payment, allowing for more than $3.2 million in tax savings; making improper payments to Burkina Faso and the DRC to avoid paying customs and recording the bribes as legal fees; and paying more than $23,000 in cash to police, border patrol, immigration officials and labor inspectors in African countries to enter countries with employees and equipment.

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