Monday, 19 November, 2018

United States justice department charges former Goldman bankers in 1MDB scandal

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's adviser Daim Zainuddin had previously said Low attempted to contact him several times on Sept 6 Jho Low contacted Mahathir's adviser last week to seek immunity: Report
Ray Hunter | 02 November, 2018, 14:59

News reports yesterday said former senior Goldman Sachs banker in Asia Tim Leissner pleaded guilty to USA bribery and money laundering charges. It was not clear if Ng had a lawyer.

"Furthermore, the bond offerings detailed in the indictment were undertaken openly and lawfully between experienced, well-regulated financial institutions and government entities", Benjamin Haslem, co-CEO of the Wells Haslem Mayhew Strategic Public Affairs, said in the statement that was also posted on Low's website.

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.

It was also announced Thursday that Tim Leissner, a former Goldman partner in Asia, has pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, prosecutors said.

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...

While US prosecutors have previously filed civil asset forfeiture suits for assets allegedly bought with some of the stolen funds, these are the first criminal charges the Justice Department has brought against individuals in the case.

A friend of Najib's stepson Riza Aziz, Low had no official role at 1MDB but had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Najib, according to the Justice Department, U.S. authorities have said. Leissner has been ordered to forfeit $43.7m as a result of his crimes.

"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.

India Thrash Windies by Nine Wickets, Clinch Series 3-1
Rohit, who scored an unbeaten 63 to guide his team to victory, is now on 1030 runs with Bairstow in the third position with 1025. India's chase didn't begin well as Shikhar Dhawan chopped one on to the stumps against Oshane Thomas on 6 in the second over.

Goldman Sachs has said it is fully cooperating with the investigation and that it had no knowledge of how the money from the fund was being used.

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

In a speech previous year in Washington, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions denounced the scandal as "kleptocracy at its worst".

The fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, was set up in 2009 by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak to promote economic development.

Prosecutors say Low, Ng, and Leissner conspired to launder the proceeds of fraud involving 1MDB through the USA financial system. Low, who was also indicted, remains at large. Outraged by the scandal, former leader Mahathir Mohamad came out of political retirement, and the opposition united behind him in the national elections.

Najib has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has consistently denied wrongdoing. Police have also seized hundreds of luxury handbags, jewelry and cash - worth more than $266 million - during raids on apartments linked to Najib's family.

Mustian reported from NY.

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