DOJ probes finance firms' dealings with Libya: WSJ

Mon Feb 3, 2014 2:50am EST

The Department of Justice (DOJ) logo is pictured on a wall after a news conference to discuss alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats in New York December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The Department of Justice (DOJ) logo is pictured on a wall after a news conference to discuss alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats in New York December 5, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating banks, private equity firms and hedge funds that may have violated anti-bribery laws in their dealings with Libya's government-run investment fund, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Federal investigators are examining Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN.VX), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Societe Generale (SOGN.PA), private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) and hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (OZM.N), the Journal said.

The DOJ is investigating investment deals made around the time of the financial crisis and afterward and whether the firms violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the paper said.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) invested up to $1 billion in funds run by all the firms under scrutiny except Blackstone, according to a 2010 audit of the sovereign wealth fund by KPMG, the Journal said. (link.reuters.com/puq56v)

Investigators are also probing a group of middlemen, known as "fixers", operating in the Middle East, London and elsewhere, to look at their roles in arranging deals between financial firms and Libyan officials, the Journal said.

The DOJ, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan could not be immediately reached for comments by Reuters outside of regular U.S. business hours.

Last month, LIA filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs in London's High Court, seeking to cancel a series of equity derivatives trades between January and April 2008 and the repayment of premiums paid to the investment bank for its services.

(Reporting by Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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Comments (3)
BlueOkie wrote:
What abut the IRS scandal? What about the Ambassador killing? What about illegals?

Feb 03, 2014 10:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
BlueOkie wrote:
What abut the IRS scandal? What about the Ambassador killing? What about illegals?

Feb 03, 2014 10:12am EST  --  Report as abuse
We_UnCoverUp wrote:
As conduits for cash bribes international oil companies (IOCs) paid to the Gaddafi crime family, the banks, private equity firms and hedge funds were indeed co-conspirators in a broader IOC criminal conspiracy, aided and abetted by corrupt elements of the Bush-Cheney administration in the US and the Blair government in the UK, with the objective of profiting from the US/UK governments willful blindness to blatant violations the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the Serious Fraud Act (SFA) under the guise of “normalizing” US/UK relationships with Libya and the oil wealth there. The DoJ and SFO need to also investigate the IOCs role in “lobbying” the Bush-Cheney and the Blair governments with promises of IOC money and career opportunities as quid pro quo for executive orders that stole legal claims of the families of victims of Gaddafi-sponsored terrorism. See “IRA victims plan to sue Tony Blair over Libya ‘conniving’ at www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/tony-blair/10597224/IRA-victims-plan-to-sue-Tony-Blair-over-Libya-conniving.html and “ConocoPhillips Shareholder Proposal — 2012″ at www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/cf-noaction/14a-8/2012/rogerparsons031312-14a8.pdf)

Feb 03, 2014 12:19pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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