SEC EXAMINING IF GOLDMAN-LIBYA CONNECTION VIOLATED BRIBERY LAWS
The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering whether the Goldman Sachs Group Inc and other financial companies violated bribery laws in connection with Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund. SEC Enforcement lawyers are reviewing documents that detail relationships with Libyan Investment Authority controlled by Muammar Gaddafi.
The regulators are interested in a $50 million fee that was agreed upon, but never transpired due to the violence in Libya earlier this year. The absence of any transaction does not exempt the bank from the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bans U.S. companies from offering or paying bribes to foreign government officials or employees of state owned companies.
There were several other companies listed as having significant dealings with the Libyan Investment Authority. The Wall Street Journal reported Goldman Spokesperson, Lucas van Praag as saying, “We are confident that nothing we did or proposed was or could have been a breach of any rules or regulation,” Praag was also quoted by saying, “We retained outside counsel, as our normal practice for any transaction, to ensure that we were compliant with all applicable rules.” The SEC declined to comment.
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