Malaysia Wants Its Money Back From Goldman Sachs

by: The Knowledge Group

November 06, 2018


Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have obtained a guilty plea from one former Goldman Sachs banker and charged another in a corruption case involving alleged embezzlement of billions of dollars from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, an investment fund meant to benefit the Malaysian people.

Prosecutors also charged Jho Low, a Malaysian, in connection with spending millions of dollars on gifts to Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebrities and to bankroll The Wolf of Wall Street.

The new Goldman Sachs fraud scandal is unfolding as the worst in its history.

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who established the wealth fund, diverted $731 million from it to personal bank accounts.

How Low Did They Go?

Prosecutors describe Goldman bankers covering for Low, who directed bribes and kickbacks that brought hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of commissions to Goldman Sachs, as the former Malaysian prime minister’s circle extravagantly helped themselves from the proceeds of transactions. Federal prosecutors have filed civil actions to have them disgorge jewels and other assets.

U.S. prosecutors are now investigating Goldman itself, according to sources tapped by The New York Times, over its role in fundraising for  1MDB. Aware of the scheme, reportedly, was the co-director of Goldman’s Asian investment banking division.

In August, former Goldman banker Tim Leissner pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering charges. Leissner, in pleading guilty, agreed to forfeit more than $40 million he took from the scheme.

Leissner’s former deputy has now been charged, along with Low.

Malaysian voters cast Najib out in May 2018. The new Malaysian prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, is now directing corruption investigations. What’s more, Malaysia wants Goldman Sachs to pay its people restitution.

Anti-Corruption Law in Focus

Businesses should stay current on the regulatory developments in international anti-corruption law.

The Knowledge Group will offer a webcast on anti-corruption compliance, and examine the use of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, this Wednesday, November 7. Please join us.  The recording of this will also be made available for those that can’t attend live.