Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs allegedly provided lavish gifts and prostitutes to the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) in an attempt to do business with the wealth fund during the Muammar Gaddafi era, according to reports given to the high court in London.
In the court case, which began Monday, LIA alleges the bank exploited the organization by pushing risky investments that ultimately resulted in the loss of nearly all of its assets – roughly $1.2 billion.
Goldman granted a highly-competitive internship to LIA Director Mustafa Zarti’s brother, gifted lavish trips to Dubai and Morocco, and on one occasion provided two prostitutes costing $600 for the night, according to The Independent.
Evidence in the case shows banker Driss Ben-Brahim referred to the Libyans as “very unsophisticated,” saying “anyone could ‘rape’ them” in an email – indicating the bank knew LIA was naive in its investment choices.
“You just delivered a pitch on structured leveraged loans to someone who lives in the middle of the desert with his camels,” one Goldman vice president wrote in an email, according to The Independent.
The investment bank made around $367.7 million on the investments.
Goldman stands buy its recommendations, saying there was no wrongdoing.
“The LIA was the victim of an unforeseen financial depression, not of any wrongdoing by [Goldman],” the bank said, according to The Guardian.
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