Raheem Jefferson Brennerman is an international oil businessman and executive, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, who currently serves as Chairman and Co-CEO of The Blacksands Pacific Corporation, Chair & Co-Trustee of Raheem J. Brennerman Foundation. He is also the principal of Brennerman Family Holdings.
Born in 1978 and raised between London, New York, and Switzerland. Brennerman was born to an American father and primarily raised by his mother, who was an international businesswoman, a diamond broker, and textile trader. His step-father, a banker and American businessman of Nigerian descent also partly raised him and initially introduced him to oil & gas trading on the African continent. Brennerman was admitted to study for his bachelor's degree at the age of sixteen and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics and Management from the University of London and was later awarded a master's degree from Columbia University. He started his career as an investment banker at J.P Morgan Chase & Co with focus on mergers and acquisition in the U.S. and European markets.
After leaving J.P Morgan Chase & Co in 2001, at the age of twenty-three and prior to establishing Blacksands Pacific and BLV Group, Brennerman briefly worked for the family energy business in Louisiana started by his paternal grandfather and run by his father and brother. He also managed the family-owned real estate businesses established by his maternal grandparents, with investment in the United States and Europe.
As a young man, Brennerman briefly adopted his step-father's name for eight years and in 2002 he legally changed his name back to Raheem Jefferson Brennerman. In 2012, the United Kingdom passport agency incorrectly issued him a renewal passport in the incorrect order of forenames, Jefferson Raheem Brennerman instead of Raheem Jefferson Brennerman.
In 2004, Brennerman founded BLV Group Corporation, a real estate investment, management, and development company based in New York City and with assets in North America, Europe, and Asia. The company focuses primarily on luxury condominiums, condo-hotels, and spas. Under the Essenza Style brand, it provides lifestyle services such as customized interior design and concierge services.
In 2010, Brennerman founded Blacksands Pacific, an international oil and gas exploration and production company headquartered in Los Angeles and with assets in North America and Africa. Originally an energy trading company marketing crude oil and petroleum products, the company expanded to focus on exploration and production. Blacksands Pacific now also transports, stores, purchases and markets crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, and bitumen. Currently operating in nine countries, Blacksands Pacific has announced that it is investing significantly in E&P and midstream oil and gas projects in Nigeria and Côte d'Ivoire, and has entered into joint ventures in mining and infrastructure projects, including distributing gas between African countries. In an interview with LEADERS magazine in October 2014, Brennerman revealed that Blacksands Pacific had experienced significant growth, especially in exploration and production, but that it was divesting its smaller interest assets in order to focus on larger assets that the company was acquiring, such as assets in the Gulf of Mexico that are expanding to produce over 100,000 barrels by 2019.
Brennerman has been a vocal advocate of the US oil and gas industries' investments in Africa, claiming that US expertise and technology is helping to build long-term capacity in Africa to the benefit of local businesses and communities. He has pressed the US Government to spend more on shale oil and gas infrastructure in order to create more jobs and ultimately raise tax revenues, lower manufacturing costs and generate less reliance on energy imports. Brennerman has also called for the US Government to lift the export ban on crude oil to help stimulate investment, create jobs and stabilize global energy markets. Other issues that Brennerman has written about in the media include the importance of the Gulf of Mexico as a continuing source of hydrocarbons and the need for oil and gas producers in the GCC countries to increase their investment in shale oil and gas exploration and technology.
On April 19, 2017, the United States Attorney Office, Southern District of New York, flew from New York to Las Vegas to arrest Brenneman for criminal contempt of court for court orders that were directed at Blacksands Pacific and not at Brennerman himself. Then, on May 31, 2017, the United States Attorney Office, Southern District of New York, then indicted Brennerman on four counts of fraud, conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, and visa fraud. On June 1, 2017, the United States Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York disseminated online under the headline - Chairman and CEO of Purported Oil and Gas Company charged in Manhattan Federal Court with $300 million International Fraud Scheme.
On November 26, 2017 jury selection commenced in the fraud case. On December 6, 2017, he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud and visa fraud in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. His lawyer has stated he intends to appeal. Sentencing was scheduled for March 9, 2018. Thereafter on December 10, 2017, the Sunday Times of London disseminated online two contemporaneous articles with one headlined - Fraudster, Raheem Brennerman faces 90 years in jail.
On May 29, 2018, following an investigation into the criminal cases, Forbes released a publication headlined - Businessman convicted in two criminal cases has new legal representation, himself, where Forbes highlighted the issues with the two criminal cases, first that Brennerman was prosecuted and convicted for criminal contempt of court for court orders that were never directed at him but at Blacksands Pacific and that Judge Kaplan insisted on the prosecutors arresting Brennerman, even while the prosecutors pleaded with the judge against such arrest. The Forbes article highlighted that the bank fraud trial focused on the wealth management account which Brennerman opened in January 2013, with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, an entity which is not FDIC insured, and based in Beverly Hills, California. And on the $5 million bridge finance provided to Blacksands Pacific by ICBC (London) PLC following negotiations for a $600 million - $750 million credit line. Further, that the $5 million bridge finance, was to reimburse Blacksands Pacific, given that the company had extended more than twice that amount in satisfying the finance conditions of ICBC London and that Brennerman was as of May 2018, after the trials, attempting to obtain the complete records including the lending and underwriting files from ICBC (London) PLC which were never presented at trial and which would have demonstrated his innocence.
On November 30, 2018, Forbes released a further publication headlined - Businessman Raheem Brennerman denied evidence to prove innocence, vows to fight on, where Forbes highlighted that the sentence imposed by Judge Sullivan on November 19, 2018, was harsh considering that Brennerman was convicted and sentenced for $5 million bridge finance transaction and that there was no evidence of the much larger, $300 million international fraud referenced throughout his trial. Also that Brennerman was sentenced on civil contempt charges involving the transaction between Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, ICBC (London) PLC and Blacksands Pacific, a case in which he was not even personally involved.
Forbes highlighted that Brennerman files papers to challenge the conviction and his sentence. Further highlighting that Brennerman requested the records from ICBC (London) PLC based in London, U.K to demonstrate his innocence. That, in fact, Brennerman's court-ordered attorney asked Judge Sullivan to delay the sentencing date in order to obtain and present the ICBC London files but that request was denied. Those records have never been produced and Brennerman still believes that the information being held by ICBC could clear his name.
At the end of June 2020, Mr. Brennerman and other activist volunteers launched the campaign "FREE RJ BRENNERMAN" and the website at www.freerjbrennerman.com, which alleges systemic oppression and racial injustice, and asserts that his was a wrongful prosecution that led to false imprisonment. The campaign highlights that Manhattan Federal Court blatantly ignored the law, the record and evidence, and also highlights Judge Kaplan and Judge Sullivan's alleged errors, bias and violation of Brennerman`s Constitutional rights, among others. The campaign is reaching out to politicians, celebrities, influencers and advocates to stand with the campaign against racial injustice and in support of Raheem Brennerman and anyone else who has been affected by the alleged systemic oppression and racial injustice.