Monday, November 26, 2007

U.S. says Texas oilman not reformed, deserves prison

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Texas oilman Oscar Wyatt, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the U.N. oil-for-food scandal, has not reformed and should receive the maximum prison sentence, U.S. prosecutors said in court papers filed on Monday.

During his trial in October, Wyatt, 83, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one of five charges against him stemming from the scandal, in which millions of dollars in kickbacks were paid to Saddam Hussein's government to win oil contracts from Iraq.

In a sentencing memo, U.S. prosecutors said Wyatt should receive the maximum sentence under his plea agreement of between 18 to 24 months when he is sentenced Tuesday. He had originally faced a maximum of 74 years.

Wyatt's breaking of the program's rules were "both sophisticated and carefully calculated" and "breathtakingly immoral," prosecutors said in the memo, arguing his guilty plea during the trial was due to his old age, not a sign of remorse.

"There is nothing in the circumstances of Wyatt's eleventh-hour plea that even begins to suggest that Wyatt is a wholly new man, reformed, and sure now to put behind him decades of illegal activities," the memo said......

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