It’s been more than a month since KBR’s middleman, Jeffrey Tesler, was sentenced to 21 months in prison.
He was assigned to the Federal Correctional Institution in Fort Dix, New Jersey. There are low and minimum security facilities there. We don’t know which one Tesler will occupy.
Telser’s surrender date is April 4. But he’s asked for a delay until April 19.
Why the delay? There’s one good reason, and an anonymous but intriguing rumor.
The good reason is that Tesler asked for a later report date because of the Passover holiday. He practices Orthodox Judaism, his lawyer said in an affidavit filed ten days ago with the federal court in Houston. This year Passover is April 6 to April 14.
‘As one of the major tenets of Passover,’ the affidavit said, ‘Mr. Tesler is not allowed to eat foods containing certain types of wheat, rye, oats, barley and other grains, during the holiday. Instead . . . Mr. Tesler’s diet must consist of specially-prepared food that has been supervised by rabbis and certified Kosher for Passover.’
A rabbi who works within the Bureau of Prisons said if Tesler shows up just before Passover starts, there won’t be time to arrange Kosher meals for him, according to the affidavit.
So Tesler is asking for a report date a couple of days after the Passover ends.
The judge hasn’t ruled yet.
Now the rumor . . . .
A story earlier this month in the Jewish Chronicle said Tesler’s family will lobby the U.K. Ministry of Justice to allow him to serve his sentence in Britain.
A ‘close relation’ who wasn’t named said they were investigating options for Tesler, who has dual British and Israeli citizenship, to be repatriated to the U.K.
When he pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy and violating the FCPA, Tesler was ordered to forfeit $149 million he held in a dozen bank accounts in Switzerland and Israel. It was the biggest FCPA forfeiture by an individual.
A unidentified family member told the London-based Jewish Chronicle: ‘The United States Treasury will receive the money which he had to pay back, so the British government is probably of the opinion that he should stay in the U.S. prison, at their expense, rather than pay £700 a week to keep him in a British prison. The relative said the family did not know how long the process to get Mr. Tesler back in the U.K. would take.’