From an article by Reuters:
NEW YORK (Reuters) – South Korean Tongsun Park and a Texas oil businessman have been charged in two separate federal cases involving bribes and kickbacks in the scandal-plagued U.N. oil-for-food program, federal authorities said on Thursday.
Park, who was at the center of the Koreagate influence-peddling scandal in Washington in the 1970s, was charged by the U.S. attorney in New York with being an unregistered agent for Iraq.
The criminal complaint said he received at least $2 million from Iraq for lobbying U.N. officials to set up the oil-for-food program, with an understanding that some of the money would be used to “take care” of a U.N. official.
Authorities would not identify the official or say whether he still worked at the United Nations. Park is thought to be in South Korea.
In a second case, Texan David Chalmers and his two oil companies, Bayoil Inc. and Bayoil Supply and Trading Co., were indicted by a federal grand jury in Manhattan in a scheme to pay millions of dollars in secret kickbacks to the government of Iraq in connection with the oil-for-food program.
The indictment against Chalmers also charges that two other people, Ludmil Dionissiev, a Bulgarian citizen living in Houston, and John Irving, a British citizen, were involved in the kickback scheme.
John Klochan, the FBI’s acting assistant director in New York, said the defendants in both cases did not merely participate in an illegal scheme but “helped further it.”
He said they “played a major role in creating or fine-tuning the oil-for-food program as a cash cow masquerading as a humanitarian venture.”
The $67 billion, oil-for-food program allowed the Iraqi government under Saddam Hussein to sell oil to finance purchases of civilian goods for its people living under U.N. sanctions.
The program began in December 1996 and ended after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Iraq has released documents showing bribes, kickbacks and oil smuggling.
The conduct of the Bayoil defendants was unconscionable,” Klochan said. “Motivated by greed, they flouted the law, made a mockery of the stated aims of the oil-for-food program and willingly conspired with a foreign government with whom our country was on the brink of war.”
Park faces a possible 5-year prison term and $250,000 fine if caught and convicted.
Hat tip to the moderate voice
Another story in the New York Times