Due to the failure of rescue negotiations, the Office of Serious Fraud investigated the GFG of Sanyev Gupta

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The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has launched an investigation into alleged fraud, fraudulent transactions and money laundering activities in Sanjeev Gupta’s metal empire, leading to the breakdown of negotiations on the rescue financing agreement.

SFO said it is reviewing “the financing and business development of companies within the Gupta Family Group Alliance (GFG), including financing arrangements with Greensill Capital UK.”

A few hours later, White Oak Global Consultants agreed to provide GFG’s Australian steel plant with an estimated A$430 million (£236 million) in emergency funding, and was negotiating to provide a £200 million loan to its British steel business. The company said it could not keep going. The transaction was concluded as a result of the investigation.

The San Francisco-based lender said: “Like any regulated financial institution, we cannot continue money laundering discussions with any company that has been investigated by the Office of Serious Fraud.”

The SFO’s investigation and the failure of the White Oak negotiations have plunged Gupta’s GFG into a new crisis. Some loose conglomerates, including Liberty Steel, employ 35,000 employees in metal factories from Wales to Australia.

GFG has been released from the bankruptcy of its main financial backer Greensill in March. Greensill is a financial group. Former Prime Minister David Cameron Is a consultant.

According to a report in the Financial Times, SFO is under pressure to investigate Gupta Steel Group. GFG to greenwindowsill In exchange for cash. GFG denies wrongdoing, and Greensill has no obligation to inspect invoices.

According to people familiar with the investigation, SFO has been talking with the whistleblower for about a year and launched a secret investigation a few months ago.

White Oak’s offer is still subject to final due diligence, but the prospect of new funding makes people hope Gupta will be able to save his business empire The collapse of the main lender, Greensill, has been haunting them.

Gupta had previously sought a £170 million government bailout of Liberty Steel, the country’s third largest alloy producer, with 3,000 employees, but only asked the British government to reject the request.

Liberty employees said on Friday morning that managers were optimistic about the progress of refinancing negotiations in recent days.

An employee said: “If he can’t get the money, and the British government does not intervene, then the company will be insolvent.” “This kind of business requires working capital.”

Business unit BEIS declined to comment. GFG declined to comment on White Oak’s decision to withdraw from negotiations, but said it would “fully cooperate” with the SFO investigation.

It added that the group “has made progress in the refinancing of its business, thanks to the operational improvements it has made and the very strong steel, aluminum and iron ore markets”.

In previous cases, the anti-corruption agency had secretly assessed the incident for several years before it was officially announced, such as British American Tobacco (British American Tobacco), which started in 2015 but officially launched in 2017.

Overwhelming public interest or market demand is the main incentive for investigations in the public domain.

In April, the “Financial Times” disclosed a series of companies named after invoices. GFG sent Greenseal in exchange for cash, but refused to do business with Gupta’s group. Gupta later told the Financial Times that such a company was listed as a “potential” customer and provided financing on this basis.

The Commodity Exchange has also initiated an investigation after registering the email addresses of GFG employees on websites with similar domain names.

The SFO conducted the GFG investigation during a fragile period, and last month the torpedo smashed the trial of two former Serco executives after failing to share certain evidence with the defense. After a series of guilty plea deals made the company’s top executives stand out, director Lisa Osofsky was under pressure to ensure a high-profile conviction.

After several separate interviews with the Gupta-Greensill network, politicians including Conservative MP Richard Fuller called on her to initiate an investigation.

The British Financial Conduct Authority and the Select Committee of the Ministry of Finance separately investigated Greensill.

German financial regulator BaFin has filed a criminal lawsuit against the management of Greensail Deutsche Bank, accusing it of suspected balance sheet manipulation. The BaFin operation was conducted after an investigation by an independent auditor who was concerned about the bank’s exposure to Gupta-related companies.

When the financial company closed in March, Greensill had $5 billion in GFG exposure.

Credit Suisse tried to settle several Liberty Steel companies Companies in the United Kingdom and Australia in order to recover funds for customers who have invested in Greensill loans through bank funds.

Other reports by Robert Smith, Cynthia O’Murchu and Michael Pooler

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