MANHATTAN (CN) – Houston oil man Oscar Wyatt Jr. was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay $11 million in restitution for conspiring to bribe Iraqi officials under Saddam Hussein for oil through the U.N. Oil for Food Program. Wyatt, 83, pleaded guilty on Oct. 1, in the fourth week of his criminal trial.
Wyatt’s company, the Coastal Corporation, was one of the largest U.S. importers of Iraqi oil after the first Gulf War.
Trial testimony showed that Wyatt paid at least $7.4 million in “illegal surcharges” through two Cyprus companies, Nafta Petroleum Co. and Mednafta Petroleum, and he sought repayment from a U.S. oil company, telling an official in a taped telephone call that he wanted money that “I’ve already paid to the bastards” that “came out of my hip pocket.”
U.S. District Judge Denny Chin told Wyatt to report to prison no later than Jan. 2, 2008.