US names four in kickback scheme that cost LyondellBasell $82m

05 December 2011 22:34  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Four more men have been identified in a scheme that swindled $82m (62m) from Houston Refining, a subsidiary of LyondellBasell, the US Attorney’s Office said on Monday.

Alireza Etessami, Gustavo Gimeno, Denny Martinez and Guillermo Nones were all named in an indictment that was recently unsealed by a judge.

They are associated with Venezuelan company Lake Huron Chartering and Panamanian company Lake Huron Group.

Etessami was arrested last month at the Miami International Airport. The other three are still at large and believed to reside in Venezuela, the office said.

There are seven defendants charged in the scheme. Former LyondellBasell employee John Barnes and international oil traders Bernard Langley and Clyde Meltzer have been arrested, the US Attorney said. The have pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

After beginning work for Houston Refining, Barnes struck a deal with Langley and Meltzer, where he awarded shipping contracts to their company in exchange for a share of the profits.

Then he entered into a similar deal with Etessami, Gimeno, Martinez and Nones.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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