Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

USA charges Jho Low, ex- Goldman bankers over 1MDB scandal

USA charges Jho Low, ex- Goldman bankers over 1MDB scandal

Malaysian officials have said Low is believed to be living in China.

Leissner yesterday pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by paying bribes to Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials and circumventing Goldman's internal accounting controls, according to prosecutors. Mr. Ng faces similar charges. Leissner pleaded guilty, and Ng was arrested in Malaysia.

The other banker has been arrested, while Mr Low remains at large.

These are the first United States criminal charges in the case which spawned investigations around the world.

The charges could also have wider repercussions within the bank. It relied primarily on debt to fund investment and economic development projects and was overseen by senior Malaysian government officials, according to court records.

Until recently, the investigation had mainly focused on allegations that Mr.

Prosecutors have previously gone after assets they claim were tainted by monies stolen from hedge fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd - including targeting profits from the film The Wolf of Wall Street, a Bombardier jet, New York City and Los Angeles real estate, and works by Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Some of those allegations were described in civil forfeiture complaints filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles past year.

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The Justice Department announced charges Thursday against a fugitive Malaysian financier and two former Goldman Sachs bankers accused in a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered billions of dollars from a...

Since the election, Malaysian authorities have brought 38 charges against Najib. The new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has moved quickly to investigate the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the investment fund, which was created under Mr. Najib.

The Malaysian government is now seeking restitution from Goldman.

An estimated $4.5bn was misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, the United States justice department alleged.

Goldman has repeatedly played down its role in the scandal, saying it was unaware of how money from the fund was being used.

Goldman did not immediately have a comment Thursday.

The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It is unclear if Mr Ng has a lawyer.

The transactions were structured as bond deals "rather than other forms of financing, because doing so generated much higher revenues and fees for (Goldman Sachs), improved the bank's reputational standing in both the Southeast Asian region and globally and provided Leissner and other bankers with increased remuneration and professional prestige, even though the bond financing was more expensive for 1MDB", the DOJ said in the criminal information document.

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