Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Former Och-Ziff Executive Sentenced to 3 Months Prison in Bribery Case

-

The former European head of Och-Ziff Capital Management Group was sentenced to three months behind bars for his role in a bribery scandal involving more than $100 million that was paid to government officials across Africa.

Michael L. Cohen, an American living in London who was once a rising star at Och-Ziff, was sentenced Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn, New York, six months after the former manager admitted to lying to federal investigators. Prosecutors dropped more serious charges.

Garaufis rejected Cohen’s request to serve a period of home confinement instead of jail, saying it would be too difficult to supervise Cohen while he’s “sitting in his mansion in London.” The judge said he’d pledged to administer justice equally “to the poor and the rich.”

Cohen’s behavior “demonstrates a serious lack of moral certitude that needs to be dealt with here,” Garaufis said before handing down the sentence. “You don’t get a special deal because you’ve been so successful.”

- Advertisement -

Cohen, 48, was the only employee charged in the federal bribery probe. Och-Ziff agreed in 2016 to pay $400 million in fines and co-founder Dan Och paid a $2 million penalty. Cohen pleaded guilty in May.

“I’m very sorry for what I did,” Cohen, 48, said in court. He said he regretted his actions in particular because they hurt his family. His lawyer said Cohen is in the midst of a divorce.

Gerald Moody, a lawyer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn, told Garaufis that Cohen had misled investigators despite having “every privilege and advantage in the world.”

Cohen admitted to lying to prosecutors investigating Och-Ziff’s payments, after the government dropped nine other charges including wire fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors said he faced 10 to 16 months behind bars under sentencing guidelines.

Yacht Debt

- Advertisement -

Cohen had argued that he shouldn’t receive any time behind bars because of his minor role in the scheme, telling Garaufis in a sentencing memorandum that the public shame was punishment enough.

Cohen was originally accused of enriching himself at the expense of a large charity that was a client. The U.S. said he brokered the sale of shares in an African mining company owned by a business associate who’d owed him money for a yacht. Cohen was originally charged with failing to disclose that the sellers of the mining shares owed him millions of dollars, according to the government.

Cohen admitted that he lied to government agents in 2013 about backdating a letter to hide his interest in the proposed investment in the African mining company. Two days after his 2013 interview, Cohen corrected his misstatement and later personally reimbursed the charity $8.73 million on Och-Ziff’s behalf, his lawyers said.

Cohen must surrender to begin his sentence on Feb. 5. The judge said he’d recommend Cohen be allowed to serve his sentence at a federal facility in New Hampshire so he can be closer to his parents.

The case is U.S. v. Michael L. Cohen, 17-cr-0544, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

MUST READ

Ex-managers of Security firm pleads guilty in Santa Clara County concealed gun permit bribery scandal

Two former managers of a Silicon Valley international security firm pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to a bribery scheme to obtain concealed firearms...

Ohio former House Speaker Larry Householder to stand for reelection amid bribery charges

Republican Rep. Larry Householder’s name will be on the ballot Election Day as the disgraced Ohio lawmaker intends to serve his district for another...

Billionaire Robert Smith to Pay $140 million after admitting to tax evasion

Billionaire Robert Smith will pay about $140 million and acknowledge wrongdoing to end a four-year U.S. tax investigation involving assets held in offshore tax...

Mexico’s ex-army chief arrested in US on charges of drug trafficking, money laundering

Former Mexican Defense Secretary Gen. Salvador Cienfuegos, who led the country’s armed forces for six years under then-President Enrique Peña Nieto, has been arrested...

Texas billionaire Robert Brockman charged in $2 billion tax evasion case

Robert Brockman, the Houston billionaire and CEO of a software company, has been charged with taking $2 billion through a scheme to evade taxes,...
Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest News

This Week

Billionaire Robert Smith admits to evading taxes for 15 years

Billionaire Robert Smith has been hailed as a brilliant investor who built Vista Equity Partners into a private equity powerhouse and a generous philanthropist...

Textile suppliers for fashion retailer Boohoo investigated for money laundering and VAT fraud

The National Crime Agency (NCA) is investigating companies that supply the fast-fashion giant Boohoo on suspicion of money laundering and VAT fraud. Britain’s crime-fighting agency...

Brazilian Senator caught hiding cash between his buttcheeks during police raid

Brazilian Senator Chico Rodrigues was caught in a police raid with money hidden between his buttcheeks on Wednesday, a judicial source briefed on the...

Spain extradites former bank CEO sentenced in Iran for corruption

Spain has extradited a fugitive former Iranian executive implicated in a large financial corruption case, in what Iran’s judiciary says is the first such...
Advertisement

Adblock Detected!

Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks