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Goldman Sachs Facing Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Investigation

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, is being probed about its compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the firm said in a filing yesterday.

The bank and some of its units are subject to a number of probes and reviews, some of which also involve other firms, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission filing. Goldman Sachs officials in London couldn’t immediately comment.

Regulators are probing Goldman Sachs’s dealings with the Libyan Investment Authority, the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing people familiar with the investigation.

The SEC opened an investigation in January into whether banks, hedge funds and private-equity firms paid placement agents to win access to the government-run funds, people familiar with the matter said at the time.

An agent working with a sovereign wealth fund may be considered a government official, making interactions with that person subject to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids U.S. companies from paying bribes to officials of overseas governments.

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