Bribery by Oil Services and Freight Forwarding Companies / Pride International, Inc. / Bobby Benton
Bribery by Oil Services and Freight Forwarding Companies
United States
Securities and Exchange Commission
Mexico, Venezuela
Legal Person
Consent to Final Judgment
Civil Penalty
Art, 1, Art. 8
Bribery of foreign officials, Falsification of books and records, Internal controls violations, Aiding and abetting Pride's falsification of books and records, Aiding and abetting of Pride's internal controls violations, False representation to accountants
No admission or denial of alleged offenses
No (Customs)
According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission Litigation Release, on December 11, 2009, the Commission charged Mr. Benton, Pride's former vice president for the Western Hemisphere Operations, alleging that in December 2004, Benton authorized the bribery of a Mexican customs official in return for favorable treatment regarding customs deficiencies identified during an inspection of a supply boat. The complaint further alleges that Benton had knowledge of a second bribe paid to a different Mexican customs official that same month. It is also alleged that from approximately 2003 to 2005, a manager of a Pride subsidiary in Venezuela authorized the bribery of an official of Venezuela's state-owned oil company in order to secure extensions of three drilling contracts. Benton, in an effort to conceal these payments, redacted references to bribery in an action plan responding to an internal audit report and signed two false certifications in connection with audits and reviews of Pride's financial statements denying any knowledge of bribery." (Source: US securities and Exchange Commission, Litigation Release No. 21335 / December 14, 2009, SEC v. Bobby Benton, Civil Action No. 4:09-CV-03963 (S.D. Texas, December 11, 2009), "SEC Charges Former Officer of Pride International with Violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act," accessed at