JERUSALEM – An Israeli businessman who says he served as a broker in a multimillion-dollar Iraqi collection deal by the law firm of former Secretary of State James Baker now charges in a WND interview Baker’s firm tried to cover up the alleged transactions, concerned about exposure after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The deal was structured to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iraq, according to the middleman, Nir Gouaz, president of Caesar Global Securities in Israel.
Gouaz claimed Houston-based Baker Botts made about $30 million collecting funds owed to a South Korean company by the Iraqi government at the peak of American sanctions imposed against Baghdad.
He claimed Baker was directly involved in the deal.
Gouaz told WND today Jeffrey Stonerock, a senior partner at Baker’s firm, contacted him in November 2001 inquiring whether he had any documents related to the purported Iraqi deal.
Gouaz said he told Stonerock he still had a few papers.
He said Stonerock asked him to destroy all remaining documents related to the matter and sign a nondisclosure form pledging not to discuss the alleged deal.
“He told me to just sign the nondisclosure and forget about what happened,” Gouaz told WND.
Gouaz said he refused to sign the nondisclosure agreement. He said he decided to retain all documents in his possession he said were related to the deal. The documents were obtained by WND yesterday.
“When they asked me to destroy the papers I became a bit skeptical,” said Gouaz. “They were clearly worried about exposure after the 9-11 terror attacks.”
Baker Botts today refused to comment on Gouaz’s latest allegations.
As WND Gouaz said he was tapped in 1998 by Baker Botts senior partner Stonerock to serve as a middleman in the collection of $1.65 billion in debt owned to Korea’s Hyundai Engineering by the Iraqi government.
The Baker Iraq Study Group can not be trusted because they are just trying to get their money and their client’s money from the government of Iraq. The result for America is not of their concern, these people are really the War for Oil types.