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Hedge fund manager Och-Ziff discloses FCPA probe

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group said in an SEC filing Wednesday the SEC and DOJ are investigating whether it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in connection with an investment from a sovereign wealth fund.

Och-Ziff said in its Form 10-K:

Beginning in 2011, and from time to time thereafter, we have received subpoenas from the SEC and requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”) in connection with an investigation involving the FCPA and related laws. The investigation concerns an investment by a foreign sovereign wealth fund in some of our funds in 2007 and investments by some of our funds, both directly and indirectly, in a number of companies in Africa.

The hedge fund manager said it isn’t able “to determine how the investigation will be resolved and what impact, if any, it will have.”

It said an “adverse outcome could have a material effect” on its business, financial condition, or results of operations.

Bloomberg said the sovereign wealth fund referenced by Och-Ziff in its filing is the $65 billion Libyan Investment Authority, based in Tripoli.

“Regulators have been investigating how the LIA made investment decisions before the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011,” Bloomberg said.

New York-based Och-Ziff was founded in 1994 by Daniel Och. It’s one of the biggest institutional alternative asset managers in the world, according to its website, with about $42.3 billion in assets under management as of March 1.

Three years ago, the SEC launched a broad investigation into whether banks, private-equity firms, and other money managers violated the FCPA in their dealings with sovereign wealth funds. 

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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