U.N. Scandal’s Virginia Connection
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A Virginia oil trading company has pleaded guilty to grand larceny in the United Nations oil-for-food scandal and will pay a $250,000 fine. Midway Trading, located in Reston, Virginia, is one of thousands of companies connected to the oil-for-food program created to supposedly help Iraqis cope with U.N. sanctions imposed after Saddam Hussein’s 1990 Kuwait invasion.
The money was supposed to go toward the purchase of “humanitarian” goods for the Iraqi people but widespread corruption prevailed and Hussein pocketed more than $10 billion through kickbacks and other illegal oil sales.
Midway Trading took part in a scheme to pay more than $440,000 in kickbacks to Iraqi officials in 2001. Already, an Iraqi-born American businessman pleaded guilty to being an illegal agent of Hussein’s government and two Houston oilmen were charged with paying Hussein’s regime millions in kickbacks.
The U.N. investigation continues and more charges are expected to be filed against other U.S. companies.