2 oil traders plead guilty in Houston to fraud

October 21, 2011 5:16:50 AM PDT
Prosecutors in Texas say two oil traders face up to 20 years in prison over a $57 million kickback and fraud scheme.

Bernard Langley of the United Kingdom and Clyde Meltzer of Houston and Livingston, N.J., pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud. Sentencing has been set for Jan. 26 in Houston.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved overcharging Netherlands-based LyondellBasell for the cost of shipping oil via tankers. The company cooperated in the probe.

Former LyondellBassell employee Jonathan Barnes earlier pleaded guilty over the scam and faces up to 55 years in prison. Barnes worked as a marine chartering manager.

Langley and Meltzer, who were arrested last December, must forfeit luxury vehicles, jewelry, money in foreign bank accounts, plus property in Texas and Florida.

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