A former oil trader and a consultant were indicted on Thursday for allegedly orchestrating an international commercial bribery scheme in attempt to defraud Chevron.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas said in a statement that Shawn Thomas Potts, 41 of Pennsylvania, Robert Stanley Corbitt, 71 of Houston, allegedly engaged in a wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy running from 2004 to 2012.
According to the indictment, Potts, a former Chevron oil trader based in New Jersey and later in London, steered Chevron oil trades to counterparties who were willing to pay him kickbacks.
Corbitt, who worked as a consultant to counterparties on Chevron transactions, obtained kickbacks on transactions involving Potts.
The kickback scheme allegedly involved Chevron oil purchases from Cameroon in West Africa, Belarus and Russia, among other locales.
Corbitt also allegedly funneled kickback payments to Potts through a Cayman Islands bank account that he held.
The indictment alleges the kickback scheme “deprived Chevron of the honest services of its employee,” referring to Potts.
Potts, Corbitt and other conspirators allegedly used foreign entities and nominees to hold foreign bank accounts in Switzerland and the Cayman Islands to receive, hold and transfer kickback funds and submitted false invoices to disguise kickback payments as legitimate fees for service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The indictment also alleges that the two men filed false tax returns that omitted kickback income and that they falsely claimed no interest in foreign bank accounts.
Potts and Corbitt allegedly received kickback funds in cash or had money wired directly from nominee accounts in Switzerland to other individuals and entities on their behalf.
According to the indictment, kickback funds were also wired directly from Swiss bank accounts to car dealers in the United States for cars Potts and Corbitt were purchasing.
Both men are charged with wire fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
If convicted, they each face up to 20 years in federal prison.
Corbitt is also charged with filing a false tax return, a charge that could carry up to three years in prison. faces
Potts surrendered to federal authorities in Houston on Thursday and was expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Nancy Johnson that afternoon.
Corbitt was arrested Wednesday and has already made his initial appearance.
Corbitt permitted release upon posting bond.
Neither Potts nor Corbitt have commented on the matter.