U.S. charges ex-Och-Ziff executive with fraud, obstruction of justice
(Adds details on Cohen and Och-Ziff, statement from Cohen's
NEW YORK, Jan 3 (Reuters) - U.S. prosecutors have charged
Michael Cohen, the former head of European investing at hedge
fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, with fraud and
obstruction of justice, according to court documents unsealed on
In an indictment filed in Brooklyn, New York federal court,
prosecutors said that Cohen, 46, concealed conflicts of interest
from a United Kingdom-based charitable foundation and obstructed
a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into
corruption involving the fund in Africa.
The government charged Cohen, who lives in London, with 10
counts ranging from conspiracy to commit investment adviser
fraud to making false statements.
Cohen, according to the indictment, failed to tell the
charitable foundation that one of the sellers of an African
mining company's shares owed him millions of dollars on a
delinquent loan. The government also alleged that Cohen tried to
cover up the facts when the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission began probing the hedge fund in 2011.
In a statement, Ronald White, Cohen's lawyer, said: "Mr.
Cohen has done nothing wrong and is confident that when all the
evidence is presented, it will be shown that the government’s
charges are baseless."
In September 2016, the New York-based hedge fund agreed to
pay more than $400 million to settle charges that it bribed
officials in Libya, Congo and several other African countries. A
unit also agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges.
Separately, Och-Ziff's founder, billionaire investor Dan
Och, agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle claims with
the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bribery allegations hurt the firm as investors quickly
pulled out money, shrinking its assets to $32 billion as of Jan.
1, 2018 compared with with $39 billion in 2016.
(Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York and Svea
Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Editing by Tom Brown)
First Published: 2018-01-03 19:02:33
Updated 2018-01-03 21:10:22
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