Two former London bankers hired by Libya to manage hundreds of millions of dollars in investments are accused of defrauding the sovereign fund by funneling off cash for themselves.
Frederic Marino and Yoshiki Ohmura, conspired to commit fraud and undertook fraudulent trading between 2009 and 2014, prosecutors alleged at the start of a London trial. The pair deny all the charges.
Marino, an ex-JPMorgan Chase & Co. banker, helped set up asset management company FM Capital Partners Ltd. to manage money invested from the Libya Africa Investment Portfolio. While Ohmura, a former Julius Baer banker, had acted as a mediator to FMCP, the prosecutors said at the start of the trial.
Marino was head of JPMorgan’s alternative investment emerging market group in early 2009.
Marino arranged for fees from the funds to be paid through offshore companies while Ohmura assisted him through a company, which channeled the “secret profits” after taking a cut, prosecutors alleged.
The payments, which were worth over $14 million and €1.3 million ($1.3 million), involved 17 investments made by the Libyan fund to four investment banks between 2009 and 2011. Some of the siphoned off money was used to pay people off who were aware of his scheme and demanded their “slice of the cake.” All of this was done without the knowledge of the fund.