The Steinmetz Scandals

Credit: James O'Brien/OCCRP (source images: Alamy Stock, Youtube screenshot by @BinyaminTA)
Published: June 10, 2024

Mining magnate Beny Steinmetz earned a reputation as a titan in the diamond world, and then cemented his fortune with a multibillion-dollar deal over coveted iron ore deposits.

But his penchant for high-risk deals has brought his flagship firm, Beny Steinmetz Group Resources, to its knees, and left him trying to fight off two criminal convictions: one in Switzerland for bribery; and another in Romania, for forming “an organized criminal group” in a disputed land deal. He denies any wrongdoing.

As Steinmetz awaits his appeal decision in Switzerland’s supreme court in his bribery case, OCCRP investigated his career. We interviewed dozens of people and pored over thousands of corporate and legal documents to tell the story of how he ended up in the crosshairs of prosecutors and business rivals, and what happened next.

We found that as his legal woes went from bad to worse, Steinmetz’s firms struck five deals with companies owned by one man: former hedge-fund boss Sabby Mionis. The deals proved key to Steinmetz’s fight-back.

There is no suggestion or evidence that Mionis - or his companies or directors - did anything illegal. However, he did seize the opportunities presented as Steinmetz was seeking to escape the consequences of his alleged corruption.

Both businessmen say the deals were at arm’s length and offered their own commercial explanations. The ultimate results are clear: they helped Steinmetz in his battles, as creditors and law enforcement came after him. OCCRP has laid out the facts, and the complex strategies Steinmetz and his firms put in place after his mining scandal erupted.

Lawyers for Mionis said he “did not help ‘shield’ Mr. Steinmetz, or ‘fight his battles’ at any point. Their investment decisions were made based on the merits of each investment.”


Beny Steinmetz: Scion of Diamond Royalty, Now At Bay Over Bribery Charges

Beny Steinmetz emerged from his father’s shadow to build a corporate empire, but his methods have left him facing jail sentences for bribery. His reputation, and perhaps his freedom, now depend on the outcome of an appeal before Switzerland’s supreme court.

10 June 2024 Read the article

Deals that Helped Tycoon Steinmetz Combat Bribery Fallout

Beny Steinmetz’s company obtained iron ore deposits worth billions thanks to bribes paid to the wife of a West African president. As revelations of the corruption mounted, and Steinmetz came under pressure in courts around the world, he and his firms struck a series of deals with companies connected to Greek businessman Sabby Mionis. The deals helped Steinmetz protect his assets and fight back against adversaries.

10 June 2024 Read the article


Journalists: Daniel Balint-Kurti (OCCRP), Attila Biro (OCCRP/, Saska Cvetkovska (Investigative Reporting Lab), Aleksandra Denkovska Gocevska (Investigative Reporting Lab), Aboubacar Akoumba Diallo (Le Petit Député, Guinea), Kevin G. Hall (OCCRP), Khadija Sharife (OCCRP), Paul Radu (OCCRP)

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