BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.
To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.
To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.
(Reuters) — U.S. prosecutors unveiled criminal charges on Thursday against two former Goldman Sachs bankers and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho tied to the alleged theft of billions from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
Prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn announced that Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million.
Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia at the request of U.S. authorities and is expected to be extradited, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecution.
The third person, the financier popularly known as Jho Low, remains at large. Malaysian authorities have revoked his passport and issued an arrest warrant for him, and have also applied for an Interpol red notice seeking assistance from the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, China and Hong Kong.
James Haggerty, a spokesman for Low, said in an emailed statement that Mr. Low “maintains his innocence.”
“Mr. Low simply asks that the public keep an open mind regarding this case until all of the evidence comes to light, which he believes will vindicate him,” Mr. Haggerty said.
A lawyer for Mr. Leissner could not immediately be reached for comment. It was not immediately clear who is representing Mr. Ng.
Goldman has placed its former co-head of Asia investment banking, Andrea Vella, on leave over his role in the firm’s involvement with the case, pending a review of allegations, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The government of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak set up 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, in 2009. An estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2014, the U.S. Justice Department has alleged.
Mr. Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing in connection with alleged graft involving 1MDB.
According to the indictment against him, Mr. Low never held a formal position with the fund but he worked as an intermediary in numerous 1MDB transactions involving Goldman and others.
Prosecutors say Messrs. Low, Ng, and Leissner conspired to launder the proceeds of fraud involving 1MDB through the U.S. financial system. Some of the laundered funds were then allegedly used to pay bribes to obtain business for Goldman. Other funds were used for the personal benefit of defendants, including purchases of luxury U.S. real estate and art.
Goldman said in an emailed statement that it “continues to cooperate with all authorities investigating this matter.” It has previously denied any wrongdoing.
According to prosecutors, the investment bank generated about $600 million in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised $6.5 billion. Messrs. Leissner, Ng and others received large bonuses in connection with that revenue.
While U.S. 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 under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law targeting official bribery abroad.
At least six countries, including Malaysia, the United States and Switzerland, have been investigating alleged thefts from 1MDB.
The 1MDB investigations in the United States and Malaysia have gathered pace since Mr. Najib unexpectedly lost a general election in May to Mahathir Mohamad, who returned to power 15 years after he retired as prime minister.
Since the election, Malaysian authorities have brought 38 charges against Mr. Najib. Many of the charges — multiple counts of corruption, money laundering and criminal breach of trust — are linked to 1MDB.
Mr. Najib has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has consistently denied wrongdoing.
The European Union's General Court has rejected an appeal made by U.S.-based investment bank The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and several cable companies against a €302 million ($353 million) cartel-related fine, Reuters reported. The European Commission had fined Goldman Sachs and the cable companies including Italy-based Prysmian S.p.A. in 2014 for running a power cable cartel for almost 10 years from 1999. The commission fined Prysmian €104.6 million including a joint fine of €37 million with its then parent, Goldman Sachs.