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Friday, April 15, 2005

Texas Businessman Indicted in Iraqi Oil-for-Food Program

From CNN.com:  "Federal authorities indicted a Texas oil executive, a South Korean businessman and two others Thursday as part of a U.S. probe of the United Nations' Iraq oil-for-food program.  David Chalmers, owner of the Houston-based company Bayoil Inc., which participated in the U.N. program, was arrested in the Texas city Thursday and made an initial appearance in federal court. Chalmers and two associates are accused of paying millions to the regime of Saddam Hussein to secure oil deals, thereby diverting money from the U.N. humanitarian aid program.  Kelley also announced an indictment against Korean businessman Tongsun Park, who allegedly worked as a lobbyist who tried to influence U.N. officials and disguised his relationship with the Iraqi regime. Park is believed to be at large in South Korea.

Chalmers faces three felony charges in an indictment unveiled by Kelley, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, whose office is overseeing the federal criminal probe. Charged with the businessman were two of his oil traders -- John Irving of Britain, who lives in London, and Ludmil Dionissiev of Bulgaria, who lives in Houston as a permanent legal alien.  Irving and Dionissiev dealt with Baghdad and the foreign oil companies in pursuing deals with surcharges, according to the indictment."  Story . . .  [Mark Godsey]

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