Flint Fined $150,000 for Rigging Bids

Flint Energy Services, a Tulsa-based pipeline company, was fined $150,000 on Monday in U.S. District Court for illegally rigging bids submitted to oil and gas developer BP in 2005.

Kenneth Rains pleaded guilty in August to charges that stated he controlled bidding for pipeline construction in the Upper San Juan Basin. Bid rigging violates the Sherman Act, which makes restraining trade illegal.

Flint Energy Services received four contracts from BP totaling $672,000 between June and December 2005 because of the conspiracy, according to the Department of Justice.

Paul Boechler, president of Flint Energy Services, previously said an employee blew the whistle on Rains. The company immediately put a stop to his actions and paid restitution to BP.

Rains has 35 years experience in the oil and gas industry and has
worked for Flint Energy Services intermittently for 15 years, spending as many as six years in Farmington, said Boechler.

He was not fired because the company believed the incident to be an isolated event. It then implemented a training program to ensure no other employees rig bids.

Rains will appear before a district judge in January to be sentenced. He could face up to six months in jail and a $10,000 fine. Aside from Flint and Rains, no other people or corporations have been charged.

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