SocGen Faces Libya Bribery Claims

French bank Société Générale (SocGen) is alleged to have paid $58 million in bribes to a friend of the Qaddafi family to secure almost $2 billion in business from Libya's main sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA).

The LIA said in a $1.5 billion lawsuit that the payments to a Panama-based company owned by Walid Giahmi had no real purpose and were kept secret from the LIA board.

They were made with the aim of “influencing the LIA’s decision to enter into each and every one of the disputed trades through the payment of bribes,” the LIA said in the documents.

The LIA also filed a lawsuit against Goldman Sachs in January, saying the bank made about $350 million selling it derivatives that turned out to be worthless.

Lawyers for Walid Giahmi said the lawsuit was without merit.

(Source: Bloomberg, WSJ, FT)

(SocGen image via Shutterstock)

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