USA charges 2 ex-Goldman Sachs bankers in Malaysia's 1MDB scandal

On Oct 26 2018 it was reported that the US Department of Justice and Global One Aviation had jointly asked the court's permission to sell the Bombardier Global 5000 jet aircraft

On Oct 26 2018 it was reported that the US Department of Justice and Global One Aviation had jointly asked the court's permission to sell the Bombardier Global 5000 jet aircraft

The US justice department has charged two former Goldman Sachs bankers and the Malaysian financier Jho Low with conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from Malaysia's state development fund.

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.

News reports say Ng has been arrested in Malaysia.

Low and Leissner were also caught in intercepted online chats in 2014 discussing how to "suck up" to an 1MDB official, and planning to send "cakes" to a woman they believed was the wife of another government official, per court docs.

"We served the warrant of arrest that was put out on him".

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A family friend of Mr Najib, Mr Low had no official role at 1MDB but had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Mr Najib, according to U.S. authorities.

A spokesman for Low did not immediately respond to a request for comments. It is unclear if Mr Ng has a lawyer. Working with the FBI, Indonesian authorities seized Low's $250 million luxury yacht Equanimity off Bali in February and Malaysia's government is now auctioning it.

The sovereign wealth fund was set up in 2009 to pursue investment and development projects for the economic benefit of Malaysia.

The Justice Department has brought criminal charges against two former Goldman Sachs bankers and a Malaysian financier in connection with the financial scandal known as 1MDB, which involved the misuse billions of dollars in Malaysian government funds.

The DoJ highlighted the alleged conspirators' attempts to secure Goldman's involvement in a share sale of 1MDB's energy assets.

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Goldman Sachs arranged bond offerings that helped the fund raise over US$6 billion, much of which, according to the global authorities, was squirrelled away in private accounts and used to buy yachts, paintings and high-end real estate.

Prosecutors say Low, Ng, and Leissner conspired to launder the proceeds of fraud involving 1MDB through the US financial system. Funds from 1MDB that were raised for development projects were used to pay for luxury real estate, art, lavish parties and more, USA investigators say.

Goldman has, in the past, repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and said it is cooperating fully with the authorities.

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. After the bond transaction was executed, more than US$500 million of the bond proceeds were misappropriated into shell companies controlled by Low, Leissner, Ng and other co-conspirators, the government alleged.

Low, Ng, Leissner, and others also conspired to bribe government officials in Malaysia, including at 1MDB - a state-owned and controlled fund meant to fund economic development projects in the country - and Abu Dhabi to keep lucrative deals to themselves, federal prosecutors said.

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