US prosecutors file charges against two Goldman Sachs bankers, Jho Low

02 Nov 2018 / 11:37 H.

    NEW YORK: US prosecutors unveiled criminal charges on Thursday against two former Goldman Sachs Inc bankers and fugitive financier Low Taek Jho.
    Prosecutors announced that Tim Leissner, a 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 US$43.7 million (RM185 million).
    Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Commissioner Datuk Seri Amar Singh confirmed Roger Ng, the other Goldman banker charged was arrested in Malaysia. He refused to elaborate when contacted by theSun, at the time of writing.
    Jho Low, however, remains at large.
    Lawyers for Leissner and Low could not immediately be reached for comment. It was not immediately clear who is representing Ng.
    Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak set up the fund, in which Low played a key role. Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing in connection with alleged graft involving 1MDB.
    An estimated US$4.5 billion (RM19 billion) was misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), by high-level officials of the fund and their associates, the US Justice Department has alleged.
    Goldman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The investment bank, which generated about US$600 million (RM2.5 billion) in fees for its work with 1MDB, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said it is fully cooperating with authorities.
    While US prosecutors have previously filed civil asset forfeiture suits for assets allegedly bought with some of the stolen funds, these are the first criminal charges the Justice Department has brought against individuals in the case under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a federal law targeting official bribery abroad.
    At least six countries, including Malaysia, the United States and Switzerland, have been investigating alleged thefts from 1MDB.
    While US prosecutors have considered the possibility of charging Najib or his associates, they would prefer Malaysia be the one to file criminal charges against any Malaysian official, a US law enforcement official said. — Reuters

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