Former Gunvor employee pleads guilty in Petroecuador bribery case
07 Apr 2021

A Canadian man once employed by the commodities trading house Gunvor Group pleaded guilty on Tuesday to involvement in what U.S. prosecutors called a scheme to bribe Ecuadorean government officials to win business from state-controlled oil company Petroecuador.

Raymond Kohut, 68, entered his plea to a money laundering conspiracy charge before U.S. District Judge Eric Vitaliano in Brooklyn, New York. He faces up to a 20 years in prison and agreed to a $2.2 million criminal forfeiture.

U.S. and Brazilian authorities have for many years been investigating some of the world’s largest commodity trading firms over allegations of fraud and bribery.

Merchant trading firms paid bribes to officials in several Latin American countries, including Mexico and Brazil, to win lucrative contracts with state-run commodities companies.

By Chris Prentice and Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, 6 April 2021

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