A managing director at an American International Group investment unit and two other investment advisors have been indicted for their part in an alleged bribery scheme in Azerbaijan.
AIG, which says it was defrauded by the employee, issued a statement confirming that the employee, David Pinkerton, a managing director of AIG Global Investment Corp., has been placed on administrative leave.
“AIG’s policies forbid the conduct alleged in the indictment, and AIG has cooperated with the investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. No charges have been brought against AIG,” the statement added.
According to the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, Michael Garcia, Pinkerton along with Viktor Kozeny and Frederic Bourke were allegedly participating in a massive scheme to bribe senior government officials in Azerbaijan to ensure that those officials would privatize the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic and allow them and others to share in the anticipated profits.
According to Garcia, a federal grand jury in Manhattan charged the men with conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. The three were also charged with money laundering.
AIG said it was first informed about an opportunity surrounding the privatization program in Azerbaijan from Omega Partners Advisors, a New York investment fund. AIG invested about $15 million as part of a group led by Omega that eventually invested approximately $180 million. AIG said that no assets of AIG clients were invested in this transaction.
AIG said that when in 1999 it discovered that Kozney had defrauded the company, it joined other investors in bringing lawsuits in the U.S., U.K. and the Bahamas.
Kozeny has been arrested in the Bahamas and the U.S. attorney is trying to have him extradited. Pinkerton and Bourke surrendered at the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s offices in Manhattan on Thursday morning.
Garcia said that three other individuals, Thomas Farrell, Clayton Lewis and Hans Bodmer previously pleaded guilty in connection with their participation in this bribery scheme.