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Texas oil company owner sentenced to prison in oil-for-food bribery case

[JURIST] Texas oil baron David Chalmers was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to forfeit $9 million Friday for paying millions in bribes to Iraqi officials in connection with the UN oil-for-food scandal [JURIST news archive]. Chalmers, the owner of Bayoil USA Inc and Bayoil Supply and Trading Ltd, pleaded guilty [JURIST report] last August to conspiracy to commit wire fraud [indictment, PDF]. He was ordered to report to prison by April 30.

The UN Oil-for-Food program [official website] allowed the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], 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.

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