Horizon Offshore Lauches Investigation in to Bribery Allegations
Horizon Offshore says that as a result of an internal review conducted by the Company, the Company's management has become aware of the possibility that one of its subsidiaries authorized an improper payment to a customs official in a Latin American country in the approximate amount of $35,000 in connection with the importation of construction equipment. As a result, the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of the Company has engaged outside counsel to conduct an investigation to determine whether any improper payment was actually made, as well as whether there are any deficiencies in the Company's internal controls and procedures with respect to the oversight and record keeping. The Company has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission of this matter and of its internal investigation. The Company is fully cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The authorization of payment raises questions concerning whether there has been a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), including whether the payment was accurately reflected on the Company's books and records. In response to the discovery, the Company has instituted disciplinary action against several employees.
"Horizon takes this matter very seriously and will not tolerate improper conduct at any level. We are working as quickly as possible to complete our internal investigation, and intend to cooperate fully with the SEC to ensure an expeditious resolution of this matter," said David W. Sharp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Horizon Offshore, Inc.
Horizon and its subsidiaries provide marine construction
services for the offshore oil and gas industry. The Company's
fleet is used to perform a wide range of marine construction
activities, including installation and repair of marine
pipelines to transport oil and gas and other sub sea production
systems, and the installation and abandonment of production
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