Department of Justice Guilty Plea June 25, 2010
Ousama Naaman, a Canadian/Lebanese dual-national, pleaded guilty to participating in an eight-year conspiracy to defraud the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program (OFFP) and to bribe Iraqi government officials on behalf of Innospec Inc., a U.S. company. Naaman and his companies were the Iraqi agents of Innospec. Naaman was originally indicted on August 7, 2008, was arrested in Frankfurt, Germany on July 30, 2009, and then extradited to the United States. Naaman pleaded guilty to a two-count superseding information, charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, violate the FCPA, and falsify the books and records of a U.S. issuer; and one count of violating the FCPA. From 2001 to 2003, acting on behalf of Innospec, Naaman paid 10 percent kickbacks to the then Iraqi government in exchange for five contracts under the OFFP. Innospec inflated its prices in these contracts to cover the cost of the kickbacks. Naaman also admitted paying more than $3 million in cash, travel, gifts, and entertainment to officials of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil and the Trade Bank of Iraq to secure sales of a chemical additive used in the refining of leaded fuel, using false invoices to Innospec to support these payments. Naaman’s sentence is pending.