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Legg Mason Penalized for FCPA-Related Charges

The SEC announced that Legg Mason Inc. will pay over $34 million to resolve an SEC charge that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a scheme to bribe Libyan government officials.  According to the SEC’s order, between 2004 and 2010, a former Legg Mason asset management subsidiary, Permal Group Inc., partnered with a French financial services company to solicit investment business from Libyan state-owned financial institutions. As a result of the scheme, Legg Mason, through its Permal subsidiary, was awarded business tied to $1 billion of investments for the Libyan financial institutions, earning net revenues of approximately $31.6 million.  Legg Mason’s violations included failing to timely devise and maintain an adequate system of internal accounting controls and lacking appropriate internal accounting controls with respect to its use of introducing brokers and other intermediaries in emerging markets, including Libya. Legg Mason agreed to disgorge approximately $27.6 million, plus $6.9 million in prejudgment interest to settle the SEC’s case. Legg Mason previously agreed to pay $33 million to the DOJ in sanctions resulting from the firm’s involvement in the Libyan bribery scheme.