Some government officials who were in the John Mahama administration and some parliamentarians have been fingered by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission over alleged bribes.
According to the U.S SEC, these bribes are in the region of $4.5million were paid to these John Mahama appointees and parliamentarians.
The money was allegedly received from a power company from Turkey through a Goldman Sach employee before 2016.
This was revealed in a report by Wall Street Journal’s Dave Michaels.
The report revealed that a gentleman identified as Asante Berko, who is a former banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. arranged for the millions of dollars in bribes to be paid to government officials in Ghana to help a client win a power-plant contract.
It was also stated that Mr Berko, who left Goldman Sachs in 2016, also paid bribes personally which is also in the region of $66,000 to members of the Ghanaian parliament and other John Mahama administration government officials.
Per the information in the journal, U.S. regulators have initiated a civil lawsuit over the action of Goldman Sachs which goes against U.S laws- Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and that law prohibit individuals and companies from giving anything of value to overseas officials to win business contracts.
The SEC in a press release stated that Mr Berko tried to hide the scheme from the bank, whose compliance officers questioned how the deal was put together. Goldman, which wasn’t named in the SEC’s lawsuit, terminated its involvement with the project after the energy company refused to explain the intermediary firm’s role, the SEC’s legal complaint says.
Nicole Sharp, a spokesperson for Goldman in a submission said;
“Goldman Sachs fully cooperated with the SEC’s investigation and as stated by the SEC in its press release, the firm’s compliance personnel took appropriate steps to prevent the firm from participating in the transaction.”
Per these allegations, the company paid Mr Berko $2 million for successfully coordinating the effort and it was revealed that these payments violated Mr Berko’s employment agreement with the bank.
In all these, Mr Berko was adequately informed that the bank would earn $10 million if the said energy company won the contract and organized financing for it, and according to the SEC lawsuit, the deal would have “enhanced Berko’s performance and stature within” the bank.
In the suit, which was filed in Brooklyn federal court, the SEC asks for Mr. Berko to pay fines and give back any compensation he earned through the scheme.