Legendary Texas oilman Oscar Wyatt, 83, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison after pleading guilty in October to paying illegal kickbacks to Saddam Hussein’s energy regime in exchange for oil contracts in 2001 (see NGI, Oct. 8). Wyatt had faced up to 24 months in prison. Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued the sentence. Wyatt had earlier agreed to forfeit $11 million as part of his plea agreement. Wyatt pleaded guilty in October four weeks into a criminal trial and shortly before prosecutors were to complete their case. Wyatt, who founded Coastal Corp., which later merged with El Paso Corp. (see NGI, May 8, 2000),was indicted in late 2005 with five other individuals. He had faced up to 70 years in prison if he had been convicted on all five counts of his indictment. Wyatt had also been charged with conducting financial transactions with Iraq, which was an enemy nation in 2001, and for violating a U.S. embargo with Iraq.
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