Goldman Sachs 'sealed Libya deals with prostitutes'

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A former Goldman Sachs dealmaker trying to persuade Gadaffi-era Libya to invest $1 billion with the investment bank procured prostitutes and invited staff members to lavish parties in the hope of winning the business, the High Court has heard.

The Libyan Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund is suing Goldman for inappropriately coercing its naïve staff into investing in products they did not understand. 

The LIA invested $1.2 billion in complicated derivative trades with Goldman, which rapidly proved worthless as the financial crisis bit.

The LIA claimed Goldman gave a highly coveted internship to the brother of key LIA director, Mustafa Zarti, to convince the Libyans to invest.

The Goldman banker in charge of the LIA contract, Youssef Kabbaj, also treated the brother to extensive training, holidays in Morocco and, on one occasion arranged for two prostitutes in Dubai for the evening at a cost of $600.  

These treats were three months before the internship.

The LIA cited Goldman bankers’ emails, which described how the country’s banking system was “Jurassic”.

Goldman banker Driss Ben-Brahim wrote: “They are very unsophisticated and anyone could rape them.” 

A Goldman vice-president emailed a colleague: “You just delivered a pitch on structured leveraged loans to someone who lives in the middle of the desert with his camels.”

Goldman denies all wrongdoing.

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June 13, 2016 |
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