Mount Sunapee lease holder Och-Ziff pays $413 million to settle foreign bribes concerning African diamonds and mining rights

NEW HAMPSHIRE WHISTLEBLOWER NEWS

 

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The lease to operate the state-owned ski resort at Mount Sunapee, Och ziff has agreed to pay $413 million to resolve a case involving foreign bribes. The company agreed to pay a criminal penalty of $213 million to the Justice Department and $199 million to the Securities and Exchange Commission.The U.S. Justice Department announced that Och-Ziff and its African subsidiary had entered into an agreement to resolve criminal charges stemming from a scheme to bribe government officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya.Och-Ziff admits it paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to Congo officials in exchange for exclusive investment opportunities involving the country’s diamond and mineral mining sectors.

The state attorney general and commissioner of Resources and Economic Development are pushing for a public meeting at which the new leaseholder, Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, can offer assurances that New Hampshire won’t see any of the conduct that resulted in more than $400 million in fines and penalties levied by the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company in charge of day-to-day operations at the resort, The Sunapee Difference, will continue in that role under Och-Ziff ownership, according to MacDonald. “The operator that has operated Sunapee since 1998 remains the operator,” he said.

“This case marks the first time a hedge fund has been held to account for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” Assistant Attorney General David Bitkower said at the time. “In its pursuit of profits, Och-Ziff and its agents paid millions in bribes to high-level officials across Africa.”

Och-Ziff admits it paid tens of millions of dollars in bribes to Congo officials in exchange for exclusive investment opportunities involving the country’s diamond and mineral mining sectors.

In Libya, the company bribed officials who managed the country’s cash assets to attract a $300 million investment from the Libyan Investment Authority into the Och-Ziff hedge fund.

Och-Ziff has agreed to hire an independent “compliance monitor” to keep a close eye on the company moving forward. That’s the person state officials would like to meet with in public session.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers