Parker Drilling has settled DOJ and SEC charges arising out of payments allegedly spent to “entertain” Nigerian officials to resolve a customs dispute. The dispute arose out of the company’s failure to follow Nigerian regulations regarding the temporary import of drilling equipment. Parker Drilling was one of many companies that failed to follow these regulations; many of the other companies have since settled FCPA allegations involving paying bribes through freight forwarder Panalpina to avoid the regulations. The Parker Drilling matter, however, involves alleged bribes to resolve a Nigerian government investigation and review of the failure to follow the regulations. Parker hired a third-party consultant through outside counsel to resolve the matter. Parker ultimately paid the consultant $1.25M, in the face of suspicious invoicing and emails that indicated “there is nothing more serious than landing in Nigeria without money to solve the problems” and that the consultant needed $4000/day per person for “entourage entertainment.” The Nigerian government review panel initially assessed a $3.8M customs penalty; two weeks later the penalty was reduced to $750K without any factual basis provided. During that period, the consultant claimed additional expenses. Parker Drilling obtained a deferred prosecution agreement with DOJ and settled a civil complaint with the SEC. The company will pay an $11.76M criminal penalty, plus $4.1M in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest. See SEC Litig. Release No. 22,672, SEC Charges Parker Drilling Company with Violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Apr. 16, 2013); Press Release, U.S. Dep’t of Justice, Parker Drilling Company Resolves FCPA Investigation and Agrees to Pay $11.76 Million Penalty (Apr. 16, 2013).