An Iraqi-American businessman has pleaded guilty to charges related to the UN oil-for-food programme for Iraq.
The programme allowed Saddam Hussein to sell oil to buy civilian goods
Court papers said Iraqi-born Samir Vincent did business with Saddam Hussein, earning millions of dollars in the process.
The case is the first brought as part of the government's investigation into the $64bn programme.
It allowed Saddam Hussein to sell oil to buy civilian goods to ease the impact of UN sanctions.
US Attorney General John Ashcroft, who announced the guilty plea, said Vincent "was able to reap profits totalling millions of dollars by reselling these five allocations of Iraqi oil to an oil company".
He said Vincent admitted charges of fraud, tax violations and acting and conspiring to act as an unregistered agent of the Iraqi government.
The charges carry a maximum sentence of up to 28 years in jail.
Mr Ashcroft said Vincent was co-operating with the Department of Justice as part of a plea deal.
Saddam's 'money machine'
Court papers say Vincent, who was born in Iraq in 1940, lobbied the US government and the UN to repeal Iraqi sanctions and ease restrictions on Iraqi oil sales on behalf of Saddam.
He helped draft agreements with Iraqi officials that guaranteed millions of dollars for himself and others once an agreement to sell Iraqi oil was obtained.
In one instance, Vincent and a company under his control were awarded the rights to buy about nine million barrels of oil for his lobbying work.
Set up in 1996, the UN oil-for-food programme was designed to ease the suffering caused by UN sanctions by allowing Iraq to sell its oil under UN supervision in order to buy food and medicines.
However, a report by former UN arms inspector Charles Duelfer found that the former Iraqi regime - which decided who could buy Iraqi oil - used the scheme to bribe people by awarding them contracts in return for a surcharge.
Saddam Hussein earned an estimated $1.5bn in kickbacks from contracts for goods purchased through the programme, and $229,000 from surcharges on oil sold.
The court papers described it as a money machine for Saddam's regime, which allegedly stashed the cash in various Middle East countries and elsewhere.