Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Texas company linked to Mexican oil smuggling

EDINBURG, Texas - An Edinburg gas company has joined the growing list of U.S. businesses linked to selling petroleum stolen from Mexico’s state-run oil monopoly.
Arnoldo Maldonado of Y Oil and Gas pleaded guilty on Sept. 25 to one count of conspiring to receive and sell stolen natural gas condensate illegally tapped from pipelines run by Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).
According to filings in a Houston federal court, Maldonado, from January to March, arranged three separate shipments of condensate he knew to be stolen. Using 22 tanker trucks, the company shipped the stolen product through unspecified land crossings with the intent to sell it to larger businesses in the oil and gas trade.
Maldonado’s arrest makes him the second Texas oil executive to face criminal charges in the two-year-old investigation.
In May, Donald Schroeder, president of Houston-based Trammo Petroleum, pleaded guilty to purchasing millions of dollars in stolen condensate and arranging for it to be shipped north on barges departing from Brownsville.

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