NEW YORK – Texas oilman Oscar Wyatt Jr. was sentenced Tuesday to 12 months and one day in prison for conspiring to violate the rules of the U.N. oil-for-food program.
Wyatt, 83, pleaded guilty last month and agreed to be sentenced to 18 to 24 months in prison. He also agreed to forfeit $11 million, conceding that he approved a $200,000 illegal payment directly to an Iraqi bank account in December 2001.
Prosecutors said he paid millions of dollars to Iraqi officials to get an unfair share of contracts connected to the oil-for-food program, which ran from 1996 to 2003.
The program permitted the Iraqi government to sell oil primarily to buy food and medicine for suffering Iraqis. It was meant to help Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions, but authorities said the program was corrupted when Iraqi officials began demanding illegal surcharges in return for contracts to buy Iraqi oil.