Friday, October 21, 2005
The US Oil-for-Food Scandal
From the WP: US Firm Fined in Oil-for-Food Scandal
NEW YORK, Oct. 20 -- A Reston-based firm pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that it paid former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's government more than $440,000 in illegal kickbacks in 2000 and 2001 to purchase discounted Iraqi crude through the $64 billion U.N. oil-for-food program. Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced that Midway Trading conspired with a Romanian partner, Bulf Oil, to deposit the kickbacks in a Jordanian bank, bypassing U.N. rules designed to prevent oil profits from falling into the hands of the former Iraqi government. The company, which pleaded guilty to first-degree grand larceny in New York State Court, agreed to pay a $250,000 fine. Morgenthau declined to say whether officials at either company would be charged with crimes, and said his investigation into wrongdoing in the program is continuing. An attorney for the firm, Mark MacDougall, declined to comment. Attempts to reach Stephen W. Baumgart, listed in Virginia State Corporation Commission records as Midway's president, were unsuccessful. His wife, Margaret, who is listed as the company's secretary, said in a brief interview she had no information about the matter.FOX News would have you believe that Kofi Annan and his family were behind all this, and got all the money. But the main culprits all seem to be Americans. As we've known for six months now. A quick tickle of OpenSecrets.org turned up nothing for Baumgart or Midway Trading, so I can't tell you which party (if any) they supported. More as I find it.
More blogs about politics.