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Bloomberg: Suit Alleges Koch Industries Routinely Paid Bribes Overseas

An article in today’s Bloomberg Markets Magazine said there were detailed allegations of systematic overseas bribery in a French lawsuit against one of the world’s biggest privately owned companies, Koch Industries.

The lawsuit was filed by a former compliance officer, Ludmila Egorova-Farines. She was hired in May 2008 to investigate the management of a subsidiary in Arles, France.

Bloomberg said she discovered widespread bribery to win contracts in Africa, India, and the Middle East. She also found evidence that Koch subsidiaries had often done business with Iran, despite various government sanctions prohibiting the trade.

She was fired about a year later. She sued Koch in France for wrongful termination.

Bloomberg’s article by reporters Asjylyn Loder and David Evans runs 7,000 words. It’s the first report anywhere about the allegations contained in documents on file in the French lawsuit, Bloomberg said.

Kansas-based Koch Industries is owned by Charles Koch, 75, and his brother David, 71, ‘each worth about $20 billion,’ according to Bloomberg. They are controversial for their political activism, sometimes characterized as anti-government.

Their company manufactures petrochemicals, water processing and pollution control equipment, and paper products, among others. It doesn’t release financial reports. Bloomberg estimates its revenue last year at around $100 billion.

The DOJ had no comment about the report, Bloomberg said. The SEC is not involved because privately owned Koch Industries isn’t an ‘issuer’ under the FCPA.

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