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Texas oilman pleads guilty to Iraq scam

NEW YORK (AP) — Texas oilman Oscar Wyatt Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he paid millions of dollars to Iraqi officials to illegally win contracts connected to the U.N. oil-for-food program.

Wyatt told the federal judge in Manhattan that he agreed in December 2001 to advise others to pay a surcharge into an Iraqi account in Jordan in violation of a program rule calling for no direct payments to Iraq.

"I didn't want to waste any more time at 83 years old fooling with this operation," Wyatt said outside court. "The quicker I get it over with the better."

The plea deal calls for Wyatt to be sentenced on Nov. 27 to 18 to 24 months in prison, unless the judge decides otherwise. He also has agreed to forfeit $11 million.