Monday, September 12, 2016

"US Seeks Scalps in Och-Ziff Bribery Investigation" (OZM)

Here are a couple of our previous OZM posts to give readers an indication of what we're dealing with here.

From August, 2015:
Och-Ziff Hedge Fund In Talks To Settle Charges It Financed Zimbabwe Torturers

That was a followup to 2012's:
Och-Ziff Capital Management Group Supplied the Money that Kept Mugabe in Power

Och-Ziff are scum.

A major piece from the Financial Times, September 12:
US prosecutors pursuing alleged bribery in Africa have a big prize in their sights — Och-Ziff, one of the world’s largest and most powerful hedge funds, as well as dealmakers and money men on three continents. 

However, a corporate fine stretching into the hundreds of millions of dollars may not be enough for the US authorities who have specifically said they now want individuals to be called to account for corporate crime.

If investigators net some big fish, it will put individual executives on notice that they cannot disclaim responsibility for far-flung misbehaviour.

Och-Ziff, the $39bn New York-listed hedge fund run by Daniel Och, has already set aside $414m to pay penalties it expects to incur as part of a deal to settle alleged bribery in Africa following an investigation by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. The two sides are in talks and US prosecutors are expected to insist that an Och-Ziff subsidiary — but not the parent company — pleads guilty to violating anti-corruption law, according to people familiar with the probe. 

The investigators’ hand has been strengthened by the recent arrest of a Gabonese businessman, which appears to have furnished the authorities with a new trove of information about Och-Ziff’s African foray....MUCH MORE
Additional reporting by Lindsay Fortado in London
Business fixer’s arrest adds fresh dimension to battle for Africa’s natural wealth
A recent US criminal complaint about an alleged bribery scheme in Africa adds a fresh dimension to one of the fiercest recent battles to control the continent’s natural wealth, one that has pitted the Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz against the government of resource-rich Guinea.

Prosecutors allege that Samuel Mebiame, a Gabonese fixer in the mining industry who was arrested in the US in August, has told investigators he paid bribes to unnamed top officials in Guinea as part of an effort to secure mining rights. The alleged bribes included a Mercedes-Benz and six-figure cash payments. One of the officials involved was President Alpha Condé, according to people familiar with the circumstances of Mr Mebiame’s account — parts of which, including the alleged Mercedes, are disputed by a person close to Guinea’s government. The government did not respond to a request for comment.

The company Mr Mebiame is alleged to have been representing in Guinea is not identified in the complaint but three people familiar with the matter said it was Palladino, the investment vehicle of South African businessman Walter Hennig. He did not respond to a request for comment put to his representatives.

In 2011, Mr Mebiame signed a loan deal — later published — under which Palladino would lend Guinea $25m. If the country had defaulted, Palladino would have stood to gain stakes in mining ventures that were due to be transferred to a state mining company. The deal unravelled when details emerged and generated a scandal in Guinea. 

BSG Resources, the mining arm of Mr Steinmetz’s family business empire, has seized on the allegations about Mr Mebiame’s conduct to support its claims that the Guinean government engaged in a corrupt plot to seize its assets....MORE
US seeks scalps in Och-Ziff bribery investigation

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