Executive Accused of Bribery and Money-Laundering in International Oil and Gas Trading

Executive Accused of Bribery and Money-Laundering in International Oil and Gas Trading

A federal grand jury in the District of Connecticut today handed down a superseding indictment against an oil and gas trader from Connecticut for his alleged involvement in a scheme to bribe Brazilian officials in order to secure contracts with Petrobras, the country’s state-owned and state-controlled energy company.

In accordance with court records, Gary Oztemel, 66, of Riverside served as the president and owner of two Connecticut-based companies, Petro Trade Services Inc. and Oil Trade & Transport S.A. Gary Oztemel, his brother Glenn Oztemel, Brazilian middleman Eduardo Innecco, and other others are accused of paying bribes to Petrobras officials between 2010 and 2018 in exchange for their assistance in getting and keeping business with Petrobras for two Connecticut-based trading firms and OTT. As part of the conspiracy, a Petrobras executive divulged private information about the company’s fuel oil business to Gary Oztemel, Glenn Oztemel, Innecco, and others. Gary Oztemel also hid the scam’s gains by using his business, Petro Trade.

On February 15, the initial accusations made against Glenn Oztemel and Innecco were made public. The superseding indictment adds conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), conspiracy to commit money laundering, and two counts of money laundering to the initial accusations against Glenn Oztemel and Innecco. If found guilty, he may spend up to five years in jail for conspiring to break the FCPA, twenty years for conspiring to launder money and the first money laundering allegation, and ten years for the second money laundering charge.

The announcement was made by Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Avery for the District of Connecticut, Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicole M. Argentieri of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and Assistant Director in Charge Donald Alway of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office.
The case is being looked into by the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by trial lawyers Allison L. McGuire and Clayton P. Solomon, Assistant Chiefs Derek J. Ettinger and Jonathan P. Robell of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael McGarry for the District of Connecticut.
FCPA cases must be investigated and prosecuted by the Fraud Section. Visit www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa for more details on the Justice Department’s enforcement of the FCPA.

An accusation is all that an indictment is. Until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court, all defendants are deemed innocent.

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