For­mer Gulf Key­stone boss Kozel still fac­ing US charges

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Business - By Rachel Mil­lard

FOR­MER Gulf Key­stone Petroleum chief ex­ec­u­tive Todd Kozel still faces crim­i­nal charges in the US over al­le­ga­tions that he used a scheme to de­fraud his ex-wife Ash­ley over their di­vorce set­tle­ment, de­spite his at­tempts to get the case thrown out.

Mr Kozel filed pa­pers in New York in Jan­uary, ar­gu­ing that the money laun­der­ing and wire fraud charges should be dropped as, among other mat­ters, the be­hav­iour al­leged did not amount to crim­i­nal­ity.

“This court, and the fed­eral crim­i­nal jus­tice in gen­eral, have no in­ter­est in the dis­pute be­tween de­fen­dant and his ex-wife with re­gard to the dis­tri­bu­tion of their as­sets,” his lawyers ar­gued, adding: “There is no le­gal ‘beef ’ to the crim­i­nal charges, and they should be dis­missed.”

Dis­trict judge Kimba Wood de­nied the re­quest last month, how­ever, stress­ing that the al­leged con­duct, if true, would break fed­eral laws and the al­le­ga­tions were “suf­fi­cient to sur­vive a mo­tion to dis­miss”.

The bat­tle in the crim­i­nal courts fol­lows a vic­tory for Mr Kozel last year when an ap­peals court over­turned a rul­ing that he should pay his ex-wife $38m (£28.6m). She had ar­gued that a de­lay trans­fer­ring 23m Gulf Key­stone Petroleum shares meant they reached her at lower value due to stock mar­ket fluc­tu­a­tions.

The Florida ap­peals court said the lower court did not have ju­ris­dic­tion. Mr Kozel main­tains he met all con­trac­tual

‘Mr Kozel stepped down from Gulf Key­stone Petroleum in 2014 amid a slump in the share price’

re­quire­ments for turn­ing over the stock ac­cord­ing to the di­vorce agree­ment. Mr Kozel stepped down from Gulf Key­stone Petroleum in 2014 amid a slump in the share price, rows over ex­ec­u­tive pay and dis­ap­point­ing oil sales from its Shaikan field in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion of Iraq.

The com­pany is now led by Jon Fer­rier as chief ex­ec­u­tive, al­though he plans to re­tire and it is look­ing for a new boss.

Last week, it re­ported sales of $49.9m for the half-year to June, com­pared to $95.6m in the first half of 2019, due to fall­ing oil prices in the midst of the coron­avirus pan­demic.

Mr Kozel’s lawyer did not re­turn an email seek­ing com­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.