Monday, February 3, 2014

"Just Us" Department Looks at Libyan SWF for U.S. Bribes

WSJ reported:

The Justice Department has joined a widening investigation of banks, private-equity firms and hedge funds that may have violated antibribery laws in their dealings with Libya's government-run investment fund, people familiar with the matter said. 

The criminal investigation, which has intensified in recent months, is proceeding alongside a civil probe by the Securities and Exchange Commission that began in 2011 and initially homed in on Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The Justice Department's involvement hasn't been reported previously. 

In addition to Goldman Sachs, federal investigators are examining Credit Suisse Group AG, J.P. Morgan Chase, Société Générale SA, private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP and hedge-fund operator Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, these people said. Spokesmen for the Justice Department and the SEC declined to comment.
What, no Carlyle Group?  The article mentioned two PEU giants as visiting Libya in 2008:

Blackstone Chief Executive Stephen Schwarzman and Carlyle Group LP Chief Executive David Rubenstein attended the 2008 wedding in Tripoli of Mustafa Zarti, the deputy chief of the Libyan Investment Authority. There is no indication that Messrs. Schwarzman or Rubenstein were involved in any transactions that are under investigation. Both declined through spokesmen to comment.

PEUReport noted Carlyle's hosting a dinner for Gadhafi's son Saif in Washington, D.C. in 2008.  Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair worked magic in opening Libya.  Of course it took freeing a Libyan terrorist to get a huge BP deal.  Those are the words of Gadhafi's son. 

The Libyan Investment Authority gave Carlyle $118 million to invest.  President Obama ordered these funds frozen when the West decided on Libyan regime change.  That explains the financially sophisticated ragtag group of Libyan rebels.

Stay tuned to see who settles with the "Just Us" Department.  It wouldn't be the first time The Carlyle Group or one of their affiliates paid a big sum to make an investigation go away.