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Federal Court Orders U.S. Defense Contractor KBR To Stand Trial in Nepali Human Trafficking Case
Published: August 23, 2013
WASHINGTON — After a review of the evidence, a federal court today ordered the Nepali human trafficking case against Houston, Texas-based U.S. defense contractor KBR and its Jordanian subcontractor Daoud & Partners to proceed to trial. A trial date has been set for April 14, 2014. Lead plaintiffs counsel is Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.
The case involves 12 Nepali men, ages 18 to 27, who in 2004 were promised safe jobs in Jordan, but were instead involuntarily transported to Iraq. Eleven of the men were captured and killed by insurgents on the way to the U.S. Air Force base where they were to work. The plaintiffs’ complaint alleged that KBR knowingly violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The Court denied KBR’s motion that argued the plaintiffs did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
In his order, Judge Keith Ellison, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas, wrote, “the proffered evidence shows that each man was deceived about his promised job; each man was promised a hotel-related job in Jordan; each man’s family took on significant debt in order to pay recruitment fees; when the men arrived in Jordan, they were subject to threats and harm; their passports were confiscated; and the men were locked into a compound and threatened.” Read the remainder of this entry »
Judge rejects argument that U.S. court lacks jurisdiction in Nepali human trafficking case
(Cohen Milstein) – WASHINGTON – March 05, 2012 – A federal court today upheld its jurisdiction over Daoud & Partners, a Jordanian defense subcontractor that allegedly participated in trafficking Nepali laborers to work at a U.S. military base in Iraq against their will. A trial date has been set for April 29, 2013.
In denying Daoud’s motion to appeal this decision, Judge Keith Ellison, of the Southern District of Texas, ruled that the court has personal jurisdiction over Daoud & Partners, a subcontractor to KBR, Inc., the Houston-based defense contractor that also is a defendant in the case. The case involves 13 Nepali men who in 2004 were promised jobs in Jordan, but were instead involuntarily transported to Iraq. Twelve of the men were captured and killed by insurgents on the way to the U.S. Air Force base where they were to work.
No, I am not saying that Judge Keith P. Ellison has formed a cover band and is belting out Rolling Stones tunes from his garage somewhere in Texas. Although, he may be honing his Mick Jagger strut for a grand debut on the local music scene, and that’s fine with me.
What IS NOT fine is this……during a recent sentencing hearing of former KBR Consultant Jeffrey Tesler and former KBR CEO Albert “Jack” Stanley, statements were made by Judge Ellison which I considered as biased and down right prejudicial. I have to tell you I was fit to be tied after reading them.
Ellison said he was sympathetic to Stanley and Tesler, both of whom are well-educated, white-collar executives in their 60s. He said he’d seen studies indicating prison is harder and less effective on such defendants than it is on lower-income criminals. There should be a more productive way to use the men’s professional skills to improve society rather than just imprison them, he said at the hearing.
Jack Stanley and Jeffrey Tesler were convicted of a crime and not just any crime but a multi-million dollar bribery over a period of at least 10 years with a foreign government. They’re both f’ing criminals and they should be in jail and I don’t give a rat’s ass if it’s hard on them. Perhaps they should have thought about the consequences before one or both of them “lost touch with themselves.” Read the remainder of this entry »
Former Chairman and CEO of Kellogg, Brown & Root Inc. Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Foreign Bribery and Kickback Schemes
Stanley asked the judge for leniency, saying he’d been raised on “traditional American values of hard work, honesty and integrity.”
“But somewhere along the way my values were compromised, through ambition, ego or alcoholism,” Stanley said. “Somewhere along the way, I lost touch with Jack Stanley.” ~Bloomberg
U.K. Solicitor and Former Salesman Also Sentenced for Participation in Scheme to Bribe Nigerian Government Officials
(DoJ) – WASHINGTON – February 23, 2012 – Albert “Jack” Stanley, a former chairman and chief executive officer of Kellogg, Brown & Root Inc. (KBR), was sentenced today to 30 months in prison for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by participating in a decade-long scheme to bribe Nigerian government officials to obtain engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts and for conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud as part of a separate kickback scheme, the Justice Department’s Criminal Division today announced.
U.S. District Judge Keith P. Ellison for the Southern District of Texas also ordered Stanley to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term and to pay $10.8 million in restitution to KBR, the victim of the separate kickback scheme. Stanley, 69, pleaded guilty on Sept. 3, 2008, to a two-count criminal information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
Two of Stanley’s co-conspirators also were sentenced by Judge Ellison. Today, Jeffrey Tesler, 63, a United Kingdom citizen and licensed solicitor, was sentenced to 21 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Tesler also was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine and previously was ordered to forfeit $148,964,568. Yesterday, Wojciech J. Chodan, 74, a United Kingdom citizen and former salesman at KBR’s U.K. subsidiary, was sentenced to one year of probation and ordered to pay a $20,000 fine. Chodan previously was ordered to forfeit $726,885.
John O’Brien – (Legal Newsline) – HOUSTON – September 27, 2011 – Jamie Leigh Jones, the woman who alleged her employer was at fault for a rape that a jury said never happened, must pay court costs to the company she sued but not its attorneys fees.
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison ruled Monday on Kellogg, Brown and Root’s motion for costs and attorneys fees, more than two months after a federal jury found that Jones was not raped while an employee of KBR, a former subsidiary of Halliburton.
He ruled that Jones is on the hook for KBR’s $145,073.19 in court costs. Citing a federal rule of civil procedure, Ellison wrote “costs – other than attorneys fees – should be allowed to the prevailing party.”
A federal jury decided in July that Jones, whose case became a talking point for those who sought mandatory arbitration reform, was not raped in Iraq while employed by KBR. The company moved on Aug. 17 to have its attorneys fees paid by Jones. KBR spent more than $2 million on attorneys fees.
In fighting the lawsuit, KBR had argued a mandatory arbitration clause in her employment contract had prevented her from suing the company in open court. An appeals court sided with Jones on that issue, but jurors ruled in July that Jones and Charles Bortz had engaged in consensual sex. Read the remainder of this entry »