A Texas oil trader pled not guilty Friday in Brooklyn federal court to charges that he paid $870,000 in bribes from his former firm, Vitol Group, to former Ecuadorian officials in exchange for business including a $300 million fuel contract — and his lawyer shook off a prosecutor’s overture to begin plea talks.
At a telephone arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, 46-year-old Javier Aguilar of Houston denied charges of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to launder money. He received a tentative Oct. 29 date to appear before U.S. District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano for a follow-up conference.
“Mr. Aguilar pled not guilty and we will see everyone in court,” his lawyer, Alex Spiro, said in an email to Law360 after the hearing.
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