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June 8, 2020

Malaysia eyes greater settlement from Goldman Sachs in 1MDB scandal

Malaysian officials are not willing to accept a $3bn settlement from Goldman Sachs for its embroilment in the 1MDB Malaysia state fund scandal, reported Reuters.

Finance minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said: “We are continuing our pursuit to get some money from GS. And the legal case is still ongoing, so we will have to wait for the outcome of that,” the minister said in an interview in his office in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

“If it’s $2 billion, I can say, no. $3 billion, no,” he added. “As long the amount is not something we think we can accept, then we continue with the legal case.”

Aziz did not mention what would be the acceptable amount.

The U.S. Justice Department said that Goldman Sachs earned $600m for the 1MDB work.

Goldman Sachs Asia head of corporate communications Edward Naylor did not comment on the issue.

Background

In 2018, Malaysian authorities filed criminal charges against the bank and its two former bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng Chong Hwa over the scandal.

The bankers were accused of working on three bond offerings that raked in nearly $6.5bn for the fund.

Leissner and Hwa allegedly conspired with Low, the mastermind of the scandal, and 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo to bribe Malaysian government officials in order to ensure Goldman Sachs’ participation in the bond issuances.

In the same year, Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company sued Goldman Sachs for playing a central role in the 1MDB scandal and bringing significant losses to the firm.

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

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