UK Prosecutors Team Up With SEC to Investigate Bribery Among SWFs

The director of the UK's Securities Fraud Office (SFO) has been contacted by the US over inquiries involving financial institutions and whether bribes were paid in transactions with sovereign wealth funds, Bloomberg has reported.

(June 29, 2011) — UK prosecutors are aiding the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on sovereign wealth fund bribery probes, according to Bloomberg.

Earlier this month, following concerns that financial firms may have violated bribery laws in dealings with Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, the SEC requested information from ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp. about their Libyan connections.

The disclosure follows the SEC’s investigation into whether Goldman Sachs and other financial firms possibly violated bribery laws in dealings with the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), which is reportedly controlled by Moammar Gadhafi. SEC officials are looking over documents including those related to a $50 million fee Goldman Sachs agreed to pay the Libyan fund to help recoup losses, the Wall Street Journal said.

Furthermore, the SEC is asking oil companies for any type of communications they held with the government of Gadhafi since 2008. Since Libya’s sovereign wealth fund launched in 2007, several other financial firms were found to have started doing business with the LIA. While Libya’s sovereign wealth fund made its strongest relationships with Goldman Sachs, the fund also invested with Societe Generale, HSBC, JP Morgan, Carlyle Group, Lehman Brothers, and Och-Ziff Capital Management Group.

To contact the <em>aiCIO</em> editor of this story: Paula Vasan at <a href=''></a>; 646-308-2742