Texas oil company owner pleads guilty to wire fraud conspiracy in oil-for-food deal Mike Rosen-Molina at 7:07 PM ET
[JURIST] A Texas oil baron pleaded guilty Friday to charges that he paid millions in bribes to Iraqi officials in connection with the UN oil-for-food scandal. David Chalmers, owner of Bayoil USA Inc and Bayoil Supply and Trading Ltd, pleaded guilty in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website] to conspiracy to commit wire fraud [indictment, PDF]. Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian oil trader who helped Chalmers buy Iraqi oil, meanwhile pleaded guilty to smuggling.
The now-defunct UN Oil-for-Food program [official website; JURIST news archive] allowed the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein, under UN sanctions in the wake of the first Gulf War, to sell limited stocks of oil in return for foodstuffs and other humanitarian supplies. Hussein's regime nonetheless bribed foreign officials and commercial interests so it could sell oil on the black market, embezzling over $1 billion in program funds and perhaps as much another $10 billion from other sources. Reuters has more.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.