US authorities have charged a fugitive Malaysian financier and two former Goldman Sachs bankers in a money laundering and bribery scheme that allegedly pilfered billions from Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.
USA authorities have charged a fugitive Malaysian financier and two former Goldman Sachs bankers in a money laundering and bribery scheme that allegedly pilfered billions from Malaysian state investment fund...
Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia at the request of USA authorities and is expected to be extradited, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecution.
Hundreds of millions were used, mainly by Riza and Low, to purchase high-end real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London, a Monet painting for $35 million, a Van Gogh for $5.5 million, a $35 million Bombardier jet and a $100 million stake in EMI Music Publishing. 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. The Associated Press quotes a spokesman for Low as saying, "Mr".
In a statement dated November 1 that reiterated earlier comments, Low asked that people "keep an open mind" and said evidence will vindicate him. A lawyer for Leissner could not be reached for comment. Low is represented by Marc Kasowitz, an attorney who has formerly represented US President Donald Trump, a DOJ spokesman said.
The unidentified co-conspirator is Andrea Vella, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The bank says it is cooperating in the probe. These are the first U.S. criminal charges to surface in the scandal, which played a large role in the election defeat earlier this year of Malaysia's former prime minister, Najib Razak. The authorities have examined what role, if any, the firm played in the 1MDB fraud, whether it knew about the alleged fraud and whether it should have done more to uncover the misappropriation of funds. He denies any wrongdoing. Leissner, the charging documents said, arranged to pay bribes and kickbacks to officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi with either the help or knowledge of several unnamed conspirators, one of whom was identified as "an Italian national who was employed as a participating managing director" at Goldman.
But the documents emphasize that the charges are allegations and that Low and a former banker arrested this week in connection with the case, Ng Chong Hwa, "are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law".
The authorities contend that the bribes and kickbacks were paid to secure 1MDB's bond underwriting business for the bank. Other funds were used for the personal benefit of defendants, including purchases of luxury USA real estate and art. He denies any wrongdoing. Low as a client, after compliance officials raised concerns about the source of his money.
The government also unsealed a criminal complaint against Tim Leissner, Goldman's former Southeast Asia chairman.
The men were charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars from 1MDB and conspiring to bribe officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The charges are the first arising from a global scandal over the epic corruption scandal at the state investment fund known as 1MDB.
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