Sept. 29, 2016

Largest U.S. Hedge Fund Agrees to Deferred Prosecution and to Pay More Than $213 Million After African Government Bribery Spree

Statement of Robert Weissman, President, Public Citizen

Note: Late Thursday, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (Och-Ziff), and its subsidiary, OZ Africa Management GP LLC (OZ Africa), have agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement and to pay more than $213 million to resolve U.S. government probes into its bribes paid in connection with a widespread scheme involving the bribery of officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya.

Och-Ziff engaged in a massive bribery scheme in numerous African countries, over a period of years, with the direct involvement of high-level officials. It did not self-disclose its illegal activities and was slow to cooperate fully in the early stages of the government’s investigation. Why is the Department of Justice letting the hedge fund off with a deferred prosecution agreement rather than demanding that it plead guilty to the illegal acts that it has acknowledged committing?