El Paso Energy Corporation, Coastal Oil Corp., Bay Oil, Oscar Wyatt Jr. and Stephen Chalmers Jr. illegally transferred tens of millions of dollars to Saddam Hussein knowing, or willfully blind to the fact, that Saddam and his regime were designated terrorists, and was the “father of terrorist organizations” engaging in financing, training, providing weapons, training facilities, safe harbor, intelligence, encouragement and incitement to Palestinian terrorist organizations and specifically directed terrorists to commit dozens of suicide bombings in Israel.
Our research task force has put together substantial evidence that the defendants constructed a secret, money-laundering apparatus weaving from Houston Texas, through Washington DC, New York, Switzerland, Cyprus, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, through which they funneled over $60 million to Saddam in violation of UN sanctions and US and international law.
Saddam contracted suicide bombers to commit terrorism and mass murder and then transferred these funds through the Arab Liberation Front, a terrorist organization controlled and directed by Saddam and Iraqi intelligence, to the families of suicide bombers and other terrorists in accordance to Iraqi incitement campaigns to encourage and direct terrorism against Israeli and American civilians.
The lawsuit against the oil companies and their CEO’s was originally filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia but was subsequently transferred to the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas, where the defendants reside. The Complaint was filed under two separate statutes. Claims brought on behalf of US nationals were filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act (“ATA”) 18 USC§ 2333, and claims brought on behalf of non-US nationals were filed under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”) 28 USC §1350. In 2010 the Court dismissed all of the claims, granting only US national plaintiffs leave to file an amended Complaint under the ATA. Plaintiffs filed an interlocutory appeal for the dismissed claims on behalf of non US citizens under the ATS, which the Court denied, pending a final judgment in the case.
Plaintiffs filed an Amended ATA complaint on behalf of the US nationals, pursuant to the 2010 Court order. Defendants moved to dismiss the Amended complaint and moved for summary judgment on the timeliness of the Complaint. The court denied both of these motions.
In October 2012 defendants filed a third party complaint, adding 62 additional defendants to the case. Ultimately all additional defendants were dismissed.
In November 2015, EL Paso Energy Corporation, Coastal Oil Corp. and Oscar Wyatt Jr. settled all claims by US nationals. Terms of the settlement agreement are confidential.
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al Complaint
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al Opinion and Order Motion to Dismiss
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al Notice of Appeal
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al First Amended Complaint
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al Opinion Denying Motion to Dismiss ATA Claim
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al Opinion Denying Summary Judgment Motion
Abecassis v. Oscar Wyatt, Jr. et al Third Party Complaint