PERSONALITIES

George Soros battles $10B lawsuit, familiar charges of wielding political influence

Brooke Singman

A $10 billion suit against George Soros accuses the self-styled humanitarian of meddling in the politics of a poor African country in order to settle his own scores, a charge the billionaire’s critics say reflects his longtime modus operandi.

The 86-year-old investor, who controls a web of international nonprofits in addition to his vast financial empire, used his sway with the government of Guinea to freeze Israeli company BSG Resources out of the West African nation’s lucrative iron ore mining contracts, according to the suit filed last month in New York Federal Court by BSG Resources.

"Soros was motivated solely by malice, as there was no economic interest he had in Guinea," BSGR alleges in court papers.

“Americans do not understand the extent to which Soros fuels this anti-constitutional, anti-American agenda.”

- J. Christian Adams, former DOJ attorney

A spokesman for Soros, who regularly supports nascent democratic governments in Eastern Europe and Africa, said the philanthropist has a lifelong interest in helping impoverished nations, and only backed a probe of BSG out of corruption concerns.

Whatever the ultimate outcome in the current case, it is not the first time Soros has been accused of sowing political upheaval to advance a personal agenda. Critics around the world, including in the U.S. and in Soros’ homeland of Hungary, say the liberal financier often masquerades as a humanitarian while manipulating the political landscape. 

“We are committed to use all legal means at our disposal to stop pseudo-civil society spy groups such as the ones funded by George Soros,” Hungary’s top education official, Minister of Human Capacities Zoltan Balog said recently.

In the U.S., Soros has spent heavily on politics from local district attorney races to presidential campaigns. While his stated goals have included reshaping the justice system, achieving income equality, battling climate change and fighting racism, critics say he has used his money to buy massive influence within the Democratic Party.

Soros has also been accused of using his Open Society Foundation and U.S. diplomatic connections to interfere with the government of Macedonia, according to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah.

In 2002, Soros was convicted in France of insider trading for buying stakes in companies previously owned by the government, including the bank Société Générale, based on confidential information.

In the current case, BSG is controlled by Soros’ nemesis and fellow billionaire Beny Steinmetz, who accuses Soros and his nonprofits of orchestrating a bribery probe to manipulate the administration of President Alpha Conde to strip BSGR of mining contracts.

Steinmetz claims Soros was motivated by hostility toward Israel and a 20-year-old grudge against Steinmetz regarding a business in Russia and his alleged hostility towards Israel.

“To Soros, Steinmetz’s success, as well as his active, passionate promotion of Israeli life, business and culture are anathema,” BSGR said in the complaint. “Soros is also well known for his long-standing animus toward the state of Israel.”

BSG was stripped of its mining rights when it refused to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to keep its mining license, according to the suit, which further alleges Soros enlisted Obama’s Department of Justice to investigate BSG.

Soros has denied all the allegations. A Soros spokesperson told Fox News BSG is trying to divert attention from its own legal issues.

“The allegations in BSGR’s lawsuit are frivolous and entirely false,” the spokesperson said. “The lawsuit is a PR stunt meant to deflect attention from BSGR’s mounting legal problems across multiple jurisdictions.”

BSG hopes to make Soros’ influence on the U.S. government, and in particular the Obama administration, a key part of its case. After the Soros-backed probe claimed evidence of bribery against BSG, the U.S. Department of Justice convened a grand jury to look into the case. Critics say it is an example of Soros using his political clout to further his goals.

J. Christian Adams, a former DOJ attorney under the Obama administration who is now president of Public Interest Legal Foundation, told Fox News Soros had the Obama DOJ at his beck and call.

“Soros’ organizations in the U.S. were instrumental in shaping DOJ policy under the Obama administration,” Adams said, noting allegations that Soros was involved in police procedures and voter ID rules across the nation. “Americans do not understand the extent to which Soros fuels this anti-constitutional, anti-American agenda.”

A DOJ spokesperson declined to confirm or deny whether it is investigating BSG as part of a criminal case, but confirmed it has found jurisdiction in the past to investigate bribery in Guinea’s lucrative mining industry in cases involving neither BSG nor Soros.

Attorney for BSG Resources Louis Solomon told Fox News they hope to begin court proceedings in July in New York City.

Brooke Singman is a Politics Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.