SEC examining Goldman's compliance with anti-bribery law

Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:16am GMT

Aug 10 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs said in a securities filing on Tuesday that the U.S. securities regulator is probing whether the bank is in compliance with a law that bars American companies from bribing foreign officials.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Goldman said the SEC is examining whether the bank was in "compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act."

Goldman did not provide details of the probe in the filing.

Separately, in a report published late on Tuesday, Wall Street Journal said that SEC is scrutinizing Goldman's dealings with the Libyan Investment Authority -- the North African country's sovereign wealth fund. The Journal had cited "people familiar with the probe" as its source.

In 2008, Goldman made options trades for the Libyan fund that resulted in losses of more than $1 billion, the newspaper said.

SEC officials are particularly looking into a $50 million fee that Goldman had initially agreed to pay in order to help the fund recoup its losses, the paper said.

However, Goldman eventually did not make the payment. But according to legal experts the bank could still be exposed to U.S. corruption laws, the Journal reported.

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act bans companies from paying or offering bribes to foreign government officials.

Goldman did not comment on the filing, WSJ said. The SEC declined to comment to the newspaper. Both Goldman and SEC could not immediately be reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.

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