Halliburton faces criminal inquiry into its business ties with Iran
19 July 2004
WASHINGTON, July 19 (HalliburtonWatch.org) -- Halliburton reported today that it received a subpoena from a grand jury investigating its business ties with Iran, a nation President Bush says sponsors terrorism. The U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has been investigating Halliburton since 2001 to determine whether it violated the ban on U.S. companies doing business with Iran. The OFAC referred the case to the Justice Department in early July 2004, prompting the subpoena from the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas. The subpoena requests Halliburton provide company documents pertaining to its business relationship with Iran. ###
Although federal law prohibits U.S. companies from trading with Iran, it does not forbid foreign subsidiaries from such business ties. Halliburton's Cayman Islands subsidiary sold $63 million worth of oil products to Iran in 2003. Earlier this year, the U.S. Senate tried to pass legislation prohibiting foreign subsidiaries of U.S. firms from trading with Iran, but the legislation was defeated, mostly along party lines.
The subpoena comes on the same day that President Bush announced his administration is investigating whether Iran was involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.
Halliburton's July 19, 2004 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission states, "We received and responded to an inquiry in mid-2001 from OFAC with respect to the operations in Iran by a Halliburton subsidiary that is incorporated in the Cayman Islands. The OFAC inquiry requested information with respect to compliance with the Iranian Transaction Regulations. Our 2001 written response to OFAC stated that we believed that we were in full compliance with applicable sanction regulations. In January 2004, we received a follow-up letter from OFAC requesting additional information. We responded fully to this request on March 19, 2004. We understand this matter has now been referred by OFAC to the Department of Justice. In July 2004, Halliburton received from an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas a grand jury subpoena requesting the production of documents. We intend to cooperate with the government's investigation. As of March 31, 2004, we had not accrued any amounts related to this investigation."
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Sen. Frank Lautenberg's report on Halliburton's business in Iran (pdf file)
Sen. Frank Lautenberg's press release on Halliburton's business in Iran
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Halliburton's official announcement of subpoena