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Paris-based multinational bank settles FCPA allegations concerning bribery of Libyan officials

Financial Crimes DOJ Bribery

Financial Crimes

On June 4, the DOJ announced that a Paris-based multinational bank and its wholly owned subsidiary agreed to pay $585 million to resolve charges in the United States and France involving bribes to Libyan officials. According to the DOJ, the bank will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement related to charges of conspiracy to violate the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions. The bank’s subsidiary will also plead guilty in the Eastern District of New York to similar charges. Almost $293 million of the resolution will be paid to France and credited by the U.S. This is the first coordinated anti-bribery enforcement action by the DOJ and French authorities. 

The bank admitted that it had paid over $90 million in bribes through a Libyan broker in connection with 14 investments made by state-owned financial institutions in Libya. For each transaction, the bank paid the Libyan broker a commission, some of which the Libyan broker then paid to high ranking Libyan officials to secure the investments for the bank from the state institutions. This scheme resulted in the bank obtaining 13 investments and one restructuring from the Libyan state institutions, and earning approximately $523 million in profits. The scheme also involved payments for the benefit of a a Baltimore-based investment management firm subsidiary; the firm resolved its FCPA issues with the DOJ on the same day.

As part of the same deferred prosecution agreement, the bank also agreed to pay $275 million to resolve charges arising from manipulation of U.S.-dollar and Japanese yen LIBOR.

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