Drilling firm Layne Christensen Co. disclosed on Monday it had fired a senior vice president of the company as an internal foreign bribery investigation deepens.
The firing comes two months after the company, which helped rescue miners trapped underground in Chile last year, said it suspended three of its managers in connection with the probe.
In a securities filing, the company said it terminated “effective immediately” Eric Despain, who served as president of the company’s mineral exploration division.
The vice president of operations in that division, Gernot Pernzhorn, will take over, the company said.
Last December Layne Christensen disclosed it had uncovered the suspect payments while updating its anti-bribery policies earlier in the year.
In April the firm said it found documents and information that suggested it made “improper payments” over a “considerable” period of time in order to help with its tax bill and import equipment into the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries in Africa.
The company’s foreign subsidiaries made the payments to “agents and other third parties” who interacted with government officials, the company said.
In June the Mission Woods, Kan.-based firm said it took ”disciplinary action” against managers who failed to follow the company’s policies and procedures — including placing three on “administrative leave.”
The audit committee of the company’s board hired Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP to investigate the payments.
Today the company said it is improving its compliance with the FCPA
“The Company believes that its continuing efforts to enhance compliance with the FCPA by the employees of the Mineral Exploration Division will benefit from this change in leadership,” it said in a statement.