US prosecutors probing Adani Group over potential bribery, Group says ‘not aware’

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The US has widened its investigation of Adani Group to focus on the conduct of its founder, Gautam Adani, and whether the company may have engaged in bribery, according to Bloomberg.

Prosecutors are digging into whether an Adani entity or people linked to the company, including Gautam Adani, were involved in paying officials for favorable treatment on an energy project, the report said, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The US Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York and the Justice Department’s fraud unit in Washington are handling the investigation and are also looking at renewable energy company Azure Power Global, the report added.

“We are not aware of any investigation against our chairman,” Adani Group told Bloomberg News. “As a business group that operates with the highest standards of governance, we are subject to and fully compliant with anti-corruption and anti-bribery laws in India and other countries.” 

Adani Group and Azure compete in the green-energy sector, and in recent years both have won contracts for projects as part of the same state-run solar program. Azure has been dealing with fallout from whistleblower complaints of illicit payments and was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange late last year over delayed filings.

Azure said last year that it was cooperating with the Justice Department and SEC after an internal probe found evidence that people previously affiliated with the firm may have been aware, or been involved in, an “apparent scheme with persons outside the Parent to make improper payments in relation to certain projects.”

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for a company or person with US links — such as a public listing, American investors or a joint venture — to pay or offer something of value to another government’s officials for favorable treatment. Adani Group doesn’t trade in the US, but it does have American investors, the report added.

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