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April 05, 2008

Another Clinton Fundraiser Accused of Crime [dri]

Kase Lawal, a Houston oil trader who holds dual Nigerian and US citizenship, stands accused of defrauding the Nigerian government of ten million barrels of oil. Mr. Lawal is also a major contributor to the Hillary Clinton campaign earning the distinction of "Hillraiser" because he held an event at his home that generated $100,000 in donations. Mrs. Clinton attended that August 2007 fund raising event.

Jay Carson, a Clinton campaign spokesman:

"While no vetting process is perfect, our vetting department does extensive vetting in order to catch any issues with donors," he said. "And to our knowledge, Mr. Lawal is an upstanding member of his community in Houston."

However, a simple Google search by McClatchy produced reports of serious allegations about some of Lawal's business dealings in Nigeria and South Africa.

The separate South Africa controversy unfolded after the Commerce Department named Lawal to a business development committee of the U.S.-South African Binational Commission, and President Bill Clinton appointed him to a Trade Advisory Committee on Africa in 1999. From 2003 to 2005, the Mail & Guardian in Johannesburg, South Africa, reported in several stories that Lawal had engineered a deal between the South African government and Nigeria that ultimately promised to bring South Africa 120,000 barrels of oil a day at wholesale prices. Neither of two companies that CAMAC set up ever provided any oil to South Africa, however. Instead, the oil went to one of them in the Cayman Islands that was 75 percent owned by CAMAC, the newspaper said. Its minority owners remain secret.

In an unusual twist to this story, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is prosecuting Mr. Lawal, was also responsible for prosecuting a former Nigerian vice president who allegedly was bribed by Rep. William Jefferson, (D-La).

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posted by xgenghisx at 11:41 PM

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