NOVEMBER 28, 2007
The Texas oilman who made hefty donations to Hillary Clinton after being federally indicted for fraud, conspiracy and violating U.S. sanction laws has been sentenced to prison but the New York senator has no plans to return the tainted cash, although other candidates have.
Houston millionaire Oscar Wyatt will serve a one-year prison sentence for bribing Iraqi officials with millions of dollars to illegally win oil contracts as part of the corrupt United Nations (U.N.) oil-for-food program. Prosecutors say Wyatt met personally with Saddam Hussein and funneled illegal kickbacks to the deceased dictator in order to secure contracts for his companies.
Keeping with her tradition of taking money from shady sources, Clinton continued accepting hefty donations from Wyatt even after his highly publicized 2005 indictment in New York. A few months ago the tycoon finally appeared in court and, on the 12th day of his trial, pleaded guilty to making illegal payments to the Iraqi government in exchange for oil contracts.
The oil-for-food program was designed to allow Iraq, at the time under international sanctions, to sell oil to provide food and medicine for its needy residents. Instead, it was yet another scandal-plagued U.N. scam with widespread corruption and bribed officials that enriched—an estimated $10 billion–executed dictator Hussein.
Wyatt’s role in the scandal didn’t deter a bipartisan group of lawmakers from accepting his cash although some, including Democrat Delaware Senator Joe Biden and Republican presidential candidate John McCain, have returned the convicted oilman’s money. Clinton has no such plans. In fact, she resisted returning nearly $1 million to fugitive Chinese fundraiser Norman Hsu but finally did so under mounting public pressure when the media exposed his criminal past.
The former First Lady has received thousands of dollars from Wyatt, who has given nearly $700,000 to national committees and candidates since the mid 1990s. More than 70% of the money has gone to Democrats.
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