USA charges financier, former Goldman bankers for 1MDB

Posted November 02, 2018

Prosecutors charge that Malaysian officials stole billions from the fund to buy property, art and other items including investments in movies such as The Wolf of Wall Street.

According to Astro Awani, Mr Daim said he demanded that Low return to Malaysia and provide names involved in the corruption scandal.

In this case, prosecutors say former bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng worked with Mr Low to bribe government officials to win 1MDB business for Goldman Sachs.

The filing of criminal charges in the matter was a rare move against senior executives of a major USA bank in the decade since the financial crisis.

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Until two weeks ago, Mr. Vella was Goldman's co-head of investment banking in Asia.

A spokesman for Goldman Sachs, which the indictment says earned about $600 million in fees and revenues and underwrote more than $6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB, said: "The firm continues to cooperate with all authorities investigating this matter". Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles have filed multiple civil lawsuits to recoup assets bought with some of that money.

The three-count indictment on Thursday charges Low Taek Jho of misappropriating money from the state-owned fund and using it to bribe foreign officials and to pay for luxury real estate, art and jewelry in the USA and to fund Hollywood film, including "The Wolf of Wall Street".

"A few months after this chat, a bank account owned and controlled by Leissner and his relative was used to transfer approximately $4.1 million to a high-end NY jeweler, in part, to pay for gold jewelry for the wife of Malaysian Official #1".

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The Telegraph has contacted lawyers for Mr Low, who has been at large since July, and Mr Leissner but has not yet received a response. Low, who previously said he did consulting work for 1MDB, is portrayed by some global investigators as the mastermind behind some of the schemes involving missing funds.

Former leader Mahathir Mohamad, outraged over the scandal, came out of retirement and the opposition united behind him in the national elections, leading to Najib's ouster in May. The Malaysian government is seeking restitution from Goldman, according to the country's new Finance Minister. It relied primarily on debt to fund investment and economic development projects and was overseen by senior Malaysian government officials, according to court records.

The BBC has contacted Goldman Sachs for comment.

Mr Leissner, who served as Goldman's South East Asia chairman and a participating managing director, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and violate U.S. anti-bribery laws.

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A few months later, some $4.1 million was transferred to a high-end New York City jeweler from a bank account linked to Leissner.