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Libyan investment fund sues Goldman Sachs for $1.2 billion

Staff writer ▼ | June 13, 2016
A legal battle started at London's high court between Libya's sovereign wealth fund and leading investment bank Goldman Sachs.
Goldman Sachs
Dispute   The Libyan Investment Authority against big bank
The case will be closely watched by the City as it offers a unique insight into the behaviour of bankers before the 2008 crash.

The Libyan Investment Authority (LIA) claims Goldman Sachs exploited the investment fund's inexperience and naivety by encouraging it to make risky and worthless derivative trades.

LIA is aiming to get $1.2bn from the US bank from nine contested trades in 2008. LIA also claims that the Goldman Sachs sought to win business with them by offering gifts, overseas travel and a greatly desired internship for a brother of a Libyan official at the investment fund.

Haitem Zarti, the brother of Mustafa Zarti, LIA's former deputy director, undertook a £36,000 internship at Goldman Sachs in May 2008, a month after the last contested trade was carried out.

Internships are much-coveted at Goldman Sachs. In 2013 the bank received 17,000 applications for 350 places for a summer analyst internship. Goldman Sachs denies any wrong doing and said there was nothing unusual or disadvantageous about the trades.