U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23728 / January 26, 2017
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Michael L. Cohen and Vanja Baros, Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-00430 (E.D.N.Y. filed January 26, 2017)
SEC Charges Two Former Och-Ziff Executives with FCPA Violations
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged two former executives at Och-Ziff Capital Management Group with being the driving forces behind a far-reaching bribery scheme that violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
Och-Ziff and two other executives previously settled charges against them in the case.
The SEC's complaint filed today alleges that Michael L. Cohen, who headed Och-Ziff's European office, and an investment executive on Africa-related deals, Vanja Baros, caused tens of millions of dollars in bribes to be paid to high-level government officials in Africa. Their alleged misconduct induced the Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund to invest in Och-Ziff managed funds. Cohen and Baros also allegedly directed illicit efforts to secure mining deals to benefit Och-Ziff by directing bribes to corruptly influence government officials in Chad, Niger, Guinea, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Commission's complaint alleges that Cohen and Baros violated Sections 30A and 13(b)(5) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act)and Rule 13b2-1, aided and abetted Och-Ziff's violations of Sections 30A and 13(b)(2)(A) of the Exchange Act, and aided and abetted or caused OZ Management's violations of Sections 206(1), 206(2) and 206(4) of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (Advisers Act), and Rule 206(4)-8 thereunder, and that Cohen also violated Section 206(1) of the Advisers Act.
The SEC's investigation was conducted by Neil Smith and Paul Block of the FCPA Unit and Rory Alex of the Boston Regional Office. The litigation is being led by Marc Jones and Martin Healey of the Boston Regional Office. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigations Division as well as the assistance of the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority, the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, the Jersey Financial Services Commission, the Malta Financial Services Authority, the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, and the Swiss Ministry of Justice.
For further information see Release No. 34-78989 (Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC, et al.)