National Oilwell Varco LLP v. Sadeesh Sadagopan et al
August 1, 2018
A federal judge in August 2018 awarded $12.2 million to National Oilwell Varco (NOV) from three former high-level employees based in Dubai who participated in various schemes to defraud and siphon funds from the company.
After receiving a whistleblower complaint through NOV’s internal compliance hotline, the global oilfield services company conducted a thorough investigation that ultimately uncovered multiple fraudulent schemes orchestrated by the three federal defendants and a U.S.-based executive, whose case was separately resolved via arbitration. The schemes uncovered by NOV were wide-ranging and included the four high-ranking employees’ creation of sham vendors, strawman companies, fake agents, and other means to skim money from their company around the globe.
The lawsuit before Judge Lee Rosenthal in the U.S. Southern District of Texas was hard-fought, with AZA defeating an onslaught of motions to stall discovery or have NOV’s case dismissed from federal court on various grounds. Once the defense motions had all failed, the former employees, Sadeesh Sadagopan, Majed Hamdan and Khaled Zantout, agreed to default on liability for NOV’s claims rather than face NOV in general discovery. After a contested hearing on damages, the judge awarded NOV the $12.2 million from all three defendants jointly and severally.