July 27, 2020

NY based hedge fund announces $136 million restitution settlement in connection with prior FCPA settlement

On July 24, 2020, Sculptor Capital Management Inc., a New York based hedge fund formerly known as Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC announced that it had agreed to resolve a long standing restitution dispute with Africo Resources Inc. (Africo) by agreeing in principle to pay Africo $136 million.  According to the Sculptor’s Form 8-K, the proposed settlement was presented to the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York for consideration, and remains subject to final signatures and negotiation of a formal settlement agreement, as well as the court’s approval of the restitution amount.  The settlement comes after Africo petitioned the court in 2018 to request restitution under the Mandatory Victims Restitution Act for financial losses it incurred after it lost the mining rights for the Kalukundi Mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) allegedly as a result of Och-Ziff’s and its subsidiary’s bribery scheme.

In September 2016, Och-Ziff and Och-Ziff’s wholly-owned subsidiary, OZ Africa Management GP LLC (OZ Africa), reached settlements with the US Department of Justice (DOJ) relating to the entities participation in bribery schemes in the DRC and Libya. At the same time, Och-Ziff also reached a settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the same conduct.  In total, the entities agreed to pay about $412 million in civil and criminal penalties.  According to Och-Ziff’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) and OZ Africa’s guilty plea, the entities bribed Libyan and DRC government officials in order to gain access to lucrative investment opportunities in each country, including allegedly paying tens of millions in bribes to obtain mining assets.  Och-Ziff also admitted to falsifying its books and records in order to conceal the payment of bribes to officials.  In January 2020, Sculptor agreed to extend its DPA until shortly after OZ Africa’s sentencing is completed; that sentencing has been delayed due to the outstanding restitution claim made by Africo.

Form 8-K | Africo’s Petition for Restitution (2018) | DOJ Press Release (2016) | SEC Press Release (2016) | DPA Extension Letter (January 2020)