Associated Press reports that federal securities regulators are settling civil charges against two executives charged with bribing Iraqi officials for contracts to supply an oil processing chemical made by their company.
The Securities and Exchange Commission says David Turner and Ousama Naaman will pay $1.35 million. It says they funneled $9.2 million to Iraqi and Indonesian officials to win about $176 million in contracts for Innospec Inc.
The bribes started in 2001, when Iraq was under the United Nation’s Oil-for-Food regime and continued until at least 2008.
Turner was Innospec’s business director. The SEC says he is cooperating with the investigation.
Naaman pleaded guilty in June to related criminal charges. Turner and Namaan neither admitted nor denied the allegations.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports that the bribes relate to the sale of tetraethyl lead (TEL), the lead-based fuel additive that has been banned in Europe and the United States due to its link to brain damage in children.
The US regulator, the SEC, alleged that Turner and other executives bribed Iraqi officials in 2006 to ensure they failed the field test of an alternative, safer product which was manufactured by a competitor; and that he and others approved the payment of lavish trips for Iraqi officials including a week’s honeymoon in Thailand for one of them.
(Source: Associated Press, The Guardian)