Kenya's former President Daniel arap Moi must have been aware of a scam which cost some $600m, according to a report into the "Goldenberg affair".
Millions were paid for fictitious gold exports
The report also says Education Minister George Saitoti - finance minister under Mr Moi - should face criminal charges, according to sources who have seen it.
Both men have repeatedly denied the allegations against them.
The report comes as Mr Moi's successor, Mwai Kibaki, is threatened by a separate corruption scandal.
Mr Kibaki won 2002 elections on pledges to tackle corruption - and end scams like Goldenberg.
He named an inquiry into the scandal, which has now handed over its final report to the president.
The scam involved licences and credits for fictitious gold and diamond exports in the early 1990s.
This week Finance Minister David Mwiraria resigned to "clear his name" over the Anglo Leasing scandal.
The BBC's Adam Mynott in the capital, Nairobi, says the timing of the delivery of the report is being seen as a possible attempt to divert attention away from the running corruption scandal to one that swept through the former Kenyan government.
During the hearing, a key suspect said that he had given suitcases full of money to Mr Moi - an allegation the former president denied.
Mr Moi's lawyer, Mutula Kilonzo, dismissed reports that the former president had been implicated in the commission's findings.
"We are going to ignore it totally. It has no value," he told Reuters news agency.
Since finishing its report, the Goldenberg judicial commission has said it has had difficulty getting an audience to hand it over to Mr Kibaki.
Ex-President Moi denied any links to the Goldenberg scam
The office of the president has said it will take a few days to read and react to the findings.
Donors suspended funding to Kenya due to concerns about corruption under Mr Moi.
After initial optimism when Mr Kibaki took over, the latest corruption allegations against his administration have led to the renewed suspension of some donor aid.
Last year, Mr Kibaki lost a referendum on a new constitution, with many voters saying they were unhappy with his efforts to tackle corruption.