Goldman Sachs Struggles to Defend Itself in 1MDB Scandal
Asia, News

Goldman Sachs Struggles to Defend Itself in 1MDB Scandal 

The Malaysian government has announced that the American investment bank, MDB, levied with criminal charges associated with 1MDB scandal in December 2018, will have to pay US $3.3 as compensation.

In response to the accusation levied, Attorney General Tommy Thomas, who is conducting the negotiations with the bank, said the discussions can continue even after the beginning of the trial on October 22. The case will initially come to the Magistrate Court and later be transferred to the High Court. Showing firm belief about winning the case, he said, “We have a strong case and are very confident of winning it. But if you want to negotiate, the doors are open”.

In a discussion with Nikkei Asian Review, Thomas mentioned that so far two rounds of discussions have taken place but no settlement between the two parties has been achieved.

On the sidelines of the International Directors Summit organised by the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia, Thomas said, “We have had some preliminary meetings, but the gulf is still very wide.”

Being the first country in the world to prosecute Goldman Sachs, Malaysia has filed charges against Goldman Sachs International (UK), Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore) seeking a fine worth $2.7 billion. As per government allegations, the multinational investment bank has misled investors in issuing three 1MDB bonds.

Blamed for the 1MDB scandal, the government is now demanding $600 million from Goldman Sachs as fees.

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is now accused for money laundering on the grounds that he received nearly $1 billion in 1MDB funds. Seen as the main lead of the 1MDB scandal, Jho Low stole more than $10 billion from the bank that would be hard to be recovered considering the fact that he was a huge spendthrift.

Consistently denying wrongdoing, the spokesman for Jho Low said in July that the government has brought “illegitimate proceedings” into direct light.

Out of the 80 individuals who were alleged for using funds involved in the 1MDB scandal, eight have consented to pay fines. The Deputy Commissioner of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has said that the calculations for the fine to be paid are based on the Act. He added, “If there are people who are unhappy with the calculations, then (it is their right to voice such sentiments). The MACC follows the rule of law and is not wrong in the calculations.”

In a hearing held at the Malaysian High Court today, the judge finalised February 5, 2020 as the date for the next hearing of the prosecution’s application to forfeit RM677,872.55 that was seized from the Johor Baru Barisan Nasional (BN) division to the government. The money that is related to the 1MDB scandal was seized by MACC. The Commission has ordered both the parties to submit written documents on or prior to January 28, 2020.

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