20 October 2011 20:30 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (ICIS)--Two oil traders have pleaded guilty to defrauding LyondellBasell Industries and its Houston Refinery subsidiary of more than $80m (€58m) in an oil shipping conspiracy, the US Department of Justice said on Thursday.
The department said that oil traders Bernard Langley, 54, of the ?xml:namespace>
In a case that was brought to the attention of prosecutors by LyondellBasell, federal attorneys had alleged that Langley and Meltzer conspired with a LyondellBasell employee, Jonathan Barnes, to charge above-market shipping rates on the company’s crude oil imports from
Barnes, who pleaded guilty in March this year, had served as the marine chartering manager for LyondellBasell’s
According to the department’s charges, beginning in late 2006 Barnes agreed to give chartering contracts to shipping companies that Langley and Meltzer had set up in the
As part of the conspiracy, Langley and Meltzer charged LyondellBasell inflated crude oil freight rates over a four-year period, netting more than $80m in fraudulent profits, which they shared with Barnes in the kickback scheme.
Authorities have already confiscated real estate, jewellery, luxury automobiles, foreign bank accounts and other assets held by the three men.
Langley and Meltzer will be sentenced in a hearing scheduled for 26 January 2012.
They have been in federal custody since their arrest in December 2010.
($1 = €0.73)
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