Dodgy Solicitor in Nigerian bung fun
23 May 2014
A solicitor who sent a suitcase filled with banknotes to bribe a Nigerian politician has been struck off.
Jeffrey Tesler, whose firm was based in North London, acted for a consortium of construction firms in their bid to win $6 billion of contracts to build a gas plant off the Nigerian coast. Being the Nigerian coast, that involved greasing a few palms my fine friend, and between 1994 and 2004 Tesler was tasked with routing payments to corrupt officials through banks in Monaco and Switzerland. The sums were substantial. US authorities discovered Tesler was holding $149 million in a dozen accounts, which they seized before pulling a bag over his head and extraditing him to Texas.
||Tesler answered one email from honourable men of Great Repute who served the Government of Nigeria with integrity, and look where it got him.
At his trial prosecutors revealed how Tesler arranged for $1 million in $100 banknotes to be stuffed in a pilot's briefcase and placed in a Nigerian politician's bedroom, a job somewhat outside the scope of the average high street solicitor. But it wasn't always that way. As Tesler told the Judge, "In the late '70s and '80s I was a simple lawyer with a mostly British client base
". Unfortunately in the '90s he fell in with a bad Nigerian lot, "turned a blind eye
" and "accepted the system of corruption that existed in Nigeria
". Tesler faced 10 years in jail, but plead guilty and was sentenced to 21 months.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal decided that Tesler's giant bribes counted as a failure to act with integrity and uphold the public's confidence in the profession. Attempts to slip everyone a tenner "and pretend the wind blew them in
" were rebuffed, and Tesler was struck off.