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August 12, 2019

Malaysia charges 17 Goldman Sachs executives over 1MDB scandal

The Malaysia government has filed criminal charges against 17 bankers of three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries over their involvement in the 1MDB Malaysian state fund scandal.

Executives from Goldman Sachs International, Goldman Sachs (Asia) and Goldman Sachs (Singapore) have been indicted in the case.

The bankers charged include Goldman Sachs existing CEO of international business Richard Gnodde and the unit’s former co-CEO Michael Sherwood, ex- Goldman Sachs Asia chairman John Michael Evans, former Goldman Sachs Asset Management Asia Pacific chairman Oliver Bolitho, and ex-Goldman Sachs Singapore CEO Frederick Towfigh.

Malaysian attorney general Tommy Thomas said: “They occupied the highest executive positions in those 3 Goldman Sachs subsidiaries, and exercised or ought to have exercised decision-making authority over the transactions of those bodies corporate.”

Prosecutors are seeking custodial sentences and criminal fines for the accused executives.

The accused may face up to 10 years imprisonment along with penalties if the charges are proven.

In response, a Goldman spokesman stated: “We believe the charges announced today, along with those against three Goldman Sachs entities announced in December last year, are misdirected and will be vigorously defended.”

Last December, Malaysian authorities filed criminal charges against the bank and its two former bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng Chong Hwa over the scandal.

Hwa and Leissner served as the bank’s managing director and chairman for Southeast Asia, respectively.

Leissner pleaded guilty to corruption.

The move stemmed from Goldman Sachs’ involvement in helping 1MDB raise $6.5bn via bond deals.

According to Malaysian prosecutors, $2.7bn of the proceeds was misappropriated.

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