According to an upcoming expose in November’s Bloomberg Markets magazine, political blog politicalgates has leaked that Koch Industries will be accused of various sins:
– Koch Industries used the European offices of their subsidiary Koch-Glitsch to sell millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran in an apparent violation of the US-Iran trade embargo, as recently as 2007
– Internal documents of Koch Industries prove that the company took elaborate steps to ensure that their US-employees weren’t involved in the sales to Iran
– While is not 100% certain at this point that Koch Industries did in fact violate US law, according to Bloomberg Markets Magazine, internal memos show for example that the details of the sales with Iran were meticulously checked by US lawyers of Koch Industries and coordinated with the lawyers in order to fully ensure that no visible involvement of US-citizens took place
– Koch Industries paid bribes in six countries from 2002 to 2008 to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East, comparable to similar behaviour of German technology giant Siemens (Siemens subsequently had to pay a $ 1.6 billion fine!)
– Koch Industries sacked a compliance officer in France in June 2009 who discovered the illegal bribes at Koch Industries subsidiary Koch-Glitsch
– These revelations were made possible through newly discovered documents from two labour court cases in France
– Bloomberg Markets reveals that former employees of Koch Industries harshly criticize the company for their internal practises and ethics
– The story also covers in great detail over several pages earlier violations of Koch Industries: The company in the past “rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada”
Salon appears to confirm the severity of the allegations, as Koch is already preparing pre-buttal damage control from Bloomberg’s reporting:
Here’s a rule of thumb about public relations: When P.R. pros begin furiously spinning a story before it has even come out, there’s a pretty good chance the story is going to be damaging to the reputation of said P.R. pros’ bosses.
And that’s exactly what we’re seeing right now, as an anonymous person or persons in the orbit of the billionaire conservative donors Charles and David Koch try to discredit a forthcoming story in Bloomberg Markets magazine.
Based on the prebuttal items appearing this week in the Washington Examiner, the Daily Caller, and U.S. News and World Report, the Bloomberg story focuses on alleged malfeasance and/or fraud and/or bad behavior by the conglomerate Koch Industries.
One of those episodes apparently involves bribery by a Koch subsidiary in France, according to the piece by Washington Examiner editorial page editor Mark Tapscott. He reports that “Bloomberg reporters have been trolling among former Koch employees overseas in search of disaffected voices willing to talk,” but Tapscott suspects the story may be animated by bias against the Tea Party. And he notes that, “Koch USA officials say they were as surprised and angered as anybody else when they were first apprised of the bribery allegations, and moved as quickly as possible to get to the bottom of the situation and fix it.”
Let’s see what all the hullabaloo is about when the article goes to print.
It’ll be interesting to hear Koch supported Republicans defend how funds from Iranian commerce were funneled through Koch Industries into their campaign coffers.
Bloomberg has published the article on-line about 11 hours after the diary was posted: