Koch Brothers May Have Violated Iran Trade Sanctions


Bloomberg Markets Magazine offers up a salacious new profile of the Koch brothers that reveals, among other things, that the hard right conservatives made millions selling petrochemical equipment to Iran in violation of the US-Iran trade embargo while taking elaborate steps to ensure that their US-employees were not involved in those sales. That’s just the start of it.

The profile of the billionaires, who have gone from #19 on Forbes 400 list of billionaires to #4, was the work of at least 15 Bloomberg journalists in several countries and represents a comprehensive and unflattering look matched only by Jane Mayer’s New Yorker piece.

The Bloomberg piece also reveals that Koch Industries paid bribes in six countries from 2002 to 2008 to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East. When a compliance officer in France discovered the illegal bribes that officer was fired.

The piece also retraces the checkered business history of Koch Industries, including evidence of price rigging with competitors, lying to regulators and repeated violations of environmental law. Those violations resulted in at least five criminal convictions in both the US and Canada since 1999.

Bloomberg’s summary pretty much says it all:

For six decades around the world, Koch Industries blazed a path to riches – in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety and ignoring environmental regulations. At the same time, Charles and David Koch have promoted a form of government that interferes less with company actions.

The Koch brothers tried to get out ahead of the story, issuing an unusual pre-buttal slamming the allegations as trolling and citing an “unnamed source” as identifying the profile as nothing short of a political hit job.

Frankly, the revelations are not as shocking as they are to be expected at this point. And most political outlets have ignored the story, despite the fact that the Koch brothers dump untold millions into hard-right causes and candidates.

These are the men dictating American policy right now and they are nothing more than common criminals. This has got to change.


Related Stories:

Koch Bros Now Buying Academic Support

Koch Bros Tell Employees How To Vote

Photo from fredthompson via flickr.


W. C
W. C2 months ago

Thank you for the information.

William C
William C2 months ago

Not surprising, thanks.

Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

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Christina V.
Christina Virago6 years ago

While a publication which clearly outlines the behaviour of this pair of miscreants is very much overdue, it is, as far as I can see not salcious, the definition of which, I believe is:
(of writing, pictures, or talk) treating sexual matters in an indecent way and typically conveying undue interest in or enjoyment of the subject:.......although I'm sure that there may well be such stories to tell. James, you are in some respects correct, in that there may well be corrupt governments with whom these two must deal, that doesn't, however, therefore exhonorate them from behaving in a similar fashion. It most certainy does not condone the wanton political corruption in which they are known to deal in their own country! Nor does it condone flagrantly flounting a disregard for the laws by which the citizens of the US must abide: to whit: economic sanctions, REGARDLESS whether they agree with those sanctions or not. They are, however, not the first or only to have done so. Kodak managed to make a great deal of money out of South Africa, even while the economic sacntions were in place, and Mugabe is doing very nicely thank you from "blood diamonds" and it goes on and on: these two are simply a very good example of an ecomonic and social structure which is now very much out of kilter!
As to the 2nd Ammendment, I think, as an outsider, it is an anachronism which ought to be re-evaluated. I seem to remember something about beating swords into ploughshares, do you not remember this al

Linda H.
Linda h6 years ago

the Other R,"What?! No gushing defense from DianeO?!"

The part of Diane O will be played tonight by James C.

Michael M.
Michael M6 years ago

May have ? Only U.S.law thinks there is a may have !

Barbara U.
Barbara U6 years ago

These are the people who are really running this country and thanks to Citizen's United vs FEC, it's just going to get worse. These people could care less about creating jobs, protecting the environment or health and well being of Americans. It's all about making profits and they don't care at whose expense. I just don't understand why average, middle/working class republicans can't see the connection between the Koch Bros and the republican stance on deregulation, union busting, taxing millionaires. If lowering taxes for millionaires creates jobs, then where are all these jobs?- Bush tax cuts have been in effect for the past 10 years. As for regulations, do we really trust these corporations to regulate themselves and look out for the health and well being of Americans. And if regulations hinders job creation, why did the country go belly-up during the Bush Administration when they deregulated the banks? Now they have thier sights on the Clean Air/Water Act which was put into effect by a republican in 1970. All of a sudden, 40 years later, this hinders job creation?

the Other RobertO
Robert O6 years ago

What?! No gushing defense from DianeO?!

James C.
James Coke6 years ago

I find the outrage over the Koch brothers' activities greatly misplaced. Their businesses are heavily burdened with numerous rules, regulations and restrictions, which are highly complex, and often vary among the different countries and jurisdictions where they operate, and which can frequently change over time (and are sometimes administered by corrupt officials). Any business that operates under such varied and complex restrictions can run afoul of certain legal requirements (I'm sure it's happened to many businesses owned and operated by Democratic leftists). What's much more disturbing (to me) are certain government actions, which use taxpayers' money, and which can affect nearly everyone. The notorious "fast and furious" scandal is one example. It involved government purchases of many dangerous firearms (with taxpayers' money) which were then purposely given to Mexican "drug lords" so as to produce murder and mayhem that could then be used for a political campaign against individual (and legal) gun dealers and owners, as well as all 2nd Amendment supporters. Adverse government policies usually affect all Americans, and can bring about long-lasting, and sometimes destructive, results.

john hall
john hall6 years ago

Elizabeth K. yes thats fred thompson thought he had more integrity then that.