Ex-Goldman bankers and financier face U.S. charges

02 November, 2018, 14:59 | Author: Lucy Floyd
  • On Oct 26 2018 it was reported that the US Department of Justice and Global One Aviation had jointly asked the court's permission to sell the Bombardier Global 5000 jet aircraft

Also charged was a former Goldman Sachs banker, Tim Leissner, who pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and to conspiring to violating foreign bribery laws.

Charges under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act have also been filed against Jho Low and his father Tan Sri Larry Low at the Sessions Court in Putrajaya last August, relating to the movement of several hundred million USA dollars in the BSI Bank in Singapore.

About $4bn disappeared from the fund and the claims of corruption led to Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak, being charged with corruption, charges he has denied.

In total, more than $2.7 billion was misappropriated by the three men and other alleged associates, according to court filings.

Goldman, the $86 billion Wall Street investment bank, underwrote $6 billion of bonds issued by 1MDB during the time of the alleged fraud, earning about $600 million in fees, the US Department of Justice said yesterday.

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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...

The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes were subsequently paid to officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

Goldman Sachs arranged bond offerings that helped the fund raise over US$6 billion, much of which, according to the worldwide authorities, was squirrelled away in private accounts and used to buy yachts, paintings and high-end real estate. The BBC has not yet been able to contact a lawyer representing him.

Yesterday, Reuters reported a three-count criminal indictment was unsealed in federal court in the Eastern District of NY charging Low Taek Jho, also known as "Jho Low," and Roger Ng with conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB funds and for conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.

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According to the justice department, Low, Ng, Leissner and other conspirators regularly bribed government officials in order to maintain Goldman's lucrative contracts with 1MDB. He remains at large.

"He did not call me, but he called an officer of mine last week", Tun Daim Zainuddin, who chairs the country's Council of Eminent Persons, was quoted by broadcaster Astro Awani as saying in an interview on Wednesday. "Low held no formal position at 1MDB, nor was he ever employed by Goldman Sachs, or the Governments of Malaysia or Abu Dhabi", Low's spokesman said.

Goldman said in an emailed statement that it "continues to cooperate with all authorities investigating this matter". Both deny any wrongdoing.

In June, anti-corruption investigators questioned Najib's wife about alleged theft and money-laundering.

Since the election, Malaysian authorities have brought 38 charges against Najib.

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Najib and Mohamad Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the former treasury secretary-general, pleaded not guilty to misappropriating government funds between December 2016 and December 2017.

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