A solicitor who acted as a ‘middleman’ to bribe Nigerian politicians and officials has been struck off.
The Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal last week struck off Jeffrey Tesler following his conviction for bribery charges in the US state of Texas.
The SDT heard that Tesler (pictured) was jailed for 21 months in February 2012 after a Texas court found him guilty of conspiring to channel bribes to politicians and officials.
At the SDT he admitted acting as a ‘middleman’ for a consortium to route payments through bank accounts in Monaco and Switzerland between 1994 and 2004, arranging for $1m (£635,000) in $100 notes to be passed to a politician to finance a political party in Nigeria.
Tesler, who was working at north London firm Kaye Tesler & Co at the time, was also given two years’ probation and agreed to forfeit more than $148m (£94m) from accounts in 12 Swiss banks and four from Israel.
The case before the SDT was brought by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). The tribunal found that Tesler’s actions constituted a failure to act with integrity and a failure to uphold the confidence the public has in the profession.
The tribunal ordered Tesler to pay £7,000 costs.
Gordon Ramsay, SRA director of legal and enforcement, said: ‘Mr Tesler abdicated this responsibility and in the US, he paid for it with his freedom. Now he has paid for it with his profession too.’