Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Och-Ziff: Dirty Deeds, Not Dirt Cheap (OZM)

These are some nasty, nasty playas.
From Bloomberg::

Och-Ziff's Plea Deal May Be Upended With Restitution Claim
  • Investors challenge deal to end U.S. charges over African mine
  • Och-Ziff paid $413 million in 2016 to end U.S. bribery probe
An investor group is demanding as much as $600 million in restitution from Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC over lost mining rights in a move that might upend the hedge fund’s deal to settle U.S. charges that it was involved in a sprawling African bribery conspiracy.

The request Tuesday from 50 investors in Africo Resources Ltd. raises doubts over whether Och-Ziff, which has $33 billion under management, can put the yearslong corruption saga behind it. U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis will now have to consider whether to order Och-Ziff to pay up or set a hearing to investigate Africo’s claims.

An Och-Ziff unit pleaded guilty in September 2016 to participating in a bribery conspiracy to help acquire mining assets in several African countries, including the Kalukundi copper and cobalt mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo that Africo had exclusive rights to. Och-Ziff agreed to pay $412 million to resolve investigations by prosecutors and regulators.
But in another snag, a $213 million criminal penalty the hedge fund paid the Justice Department had already been deposited with the U.S. Treasury, instead of being held in escrow as prosecutors agreed, a lawyer for the investors said.

"The Department of Justice has abdicated its legal obligations," a lawyer for Africo shareholders said in a memo to the court. Instead it puts “its own interests -- and those of the defendant -- ahead of victims."

Garaufis is preparing to sentence the hedge fund. He sharply rebuked prosecutors earlier demanding to know why only one person was charged in the sprawling bribery probe while the hedge fund got a deal under which the charges will be dismissed in three years if it abides by the agreement.

"I’m sick and tired of lawyers from white-shoe law firms marching into my courtroom and getting a deferred-prosecution agreement for their clients," Garaufis said. "We have a law, so someone should go out and enforce it."...MORE
Last trade: $2.555-0.035 
In March 2017 with the stock at $2.16 we mentioned: "Barring a meltdown in the wider market the stock is probably getting close to a price where the bottom-feeders will gather."
Here's the recent action via FinViz:

OZM Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC daily Stock Chart
And here we are again.

Also at Bloomberg:


And many more including a major story from Institutional Investor
Och-Ziff Hedge Fund Settled U.S. Corruption Charges, Now Investors Wonder Where Their Money Went
And a couple pieces on financing Mugabe's Zimbabwe torturers, use the 'search blog' box if interested.