Moammar Gaddafi’s regime controls about multi-billions of dollars in liquid assets around the world, including hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. banks, according to a diplomatic cable written by the U.S. ambassador to Libya last year.
WikiLeaks released the confidential message.
The document also reported that the Libyan government had received (and rejected ) investment offers from Bernard Madoff and Allen Stanford, two men were involved in huge Ponzi schemes.
(Madoff was convicted of his crimes and now in prison; while Stanford is awaiting trial.)
The cable was written in January 2010, by Ambassador Gene A. Cretz, after a meeting with Mohamed Layas, the head of the LIA, Libya’s sovereign wealth fund.
The LIA is reportedly controlled by Gaddafi.
Layas asserted that the LIA has [$32 billion] in liquidity, and noted that several American banks are each managing $300-$500 million of the LIA's funds, according to the leaked cable.
In addition, according to Cretz’s notes, Layas said we have $32-billion in liquidity, mostly in bank deposits that will give us good long-term returns.
Layas also said that LIA has extensive investments in the U.K.
The LIA, Layas stated, “has an office in London and preferred doing business there rather than in the United States, due to the ‘ease of doing business’ in the UK and relatively 'uncomplicated tax system.' He noted that the LIA's primary investments are in London, in banking and residential and commercial real estate.
Layas also alleged that he avoided the entreaties of Madoff and Stanford to invest in their Ponzi schemes.
Stanford had approached the LIA in the middle of his crisis, offering a 7-8 percent share in his investment scheme, but Layas had refused, Cretz wrote. Layas also mentioned having been previously approached by Bernard Madoff about an investment opportunity, 'but we did not accept’.
See full cable here