Foreign Subsidiary of Houston-Based Oil Firm Found Guilty of Selling Drilling Components to Syrian Oil Fields
A subsidiary of a Texas-based oil firm has pleaded guilty to illegally exporting drilling equipment to Syria.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Robbins & Meyers Belgium, S.A. pleaded guilty earlier this month to four counts of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Export Administration Regulations.
The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robbins and Myers, Inc., which was acquired by Houston-based National Oilwell Varco in the first quarter of 2013.
Robbins and Meyers Belgium pleaded guilty to actions that lead to four illegal exports and transshipments of components made from U.S. steel to a customer operating oil fields in Syria on October 2.
According to a press release from the DOJ, in May 2006, an internal auditor with Robbins & Myers discovered the activities conducted by their company’s Belgian subsidiary and informed management. Management then ordered the subsidiary to cease such actions, but members within the Belgian subsidiary continued to make shipments during 2006, as well as hiding evidence from investigators.
As part of the plea agreement, the Belgium subsidiary agreed to pay $1 million in criminal fines, as well as to serve a term of corporate probation. In addition, the company forfeited the $31,716 gross proceeds from the illegal exports to the government.
Robbins & Myers Belgium was sentenced by Judge Beryl A. Howell in the District of Columbia’s U.S. District Court.