Malaysia Seeks to Amend 1MDB Charges Against Goldman Sachs
19 Jun 2020

Malaysian prosecutors will seek to amend charges against three Goldman Sachs Group Inc. units in the case involving troubled state fund 1MDB.

Prosecutors will be seeking amendments involving liability, with Goldman’s lawyers arguing the proposed changes would be substantial, according to proceedings at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Thursday. The court set Sept. 4 for the next case management hearing.

The U.S. bank is accused of misleading investors when it arranged $6.5 billion of bond sales for 1MDB while allegedly knowing that the funds would be misappropriated. Prosecutors are seeking fines in excess of the $2.7 billion allegedly misappropriated from the proceeds, and the return of $600 million of fees received by Goldman.

1MDB is at the center of global investigations, with U.S. prosecutors alleging $4.5 billion was siphoned from the Malaysian investment fund. The scandal has roiled Malaysian politics and led to lifetime bans against Goldman bankers including Andrea Vella and Tim Leissner from the financial industry. Leissner has pleaded guilty in the U.S. to charges including conspiring to launder money.

The case involving the bank’s three units had been on hold as Malaysia imposed restrictions on people’s movement since March to contain the pandemic, with most activities now allowed to resume since last week. The case was transferred to the High Court in February, a step toward advancing the proceedings that have dragged on since the criminal charges were first announced in December 2018.

By Hadi Azmi and Anisah Shukry, Bloomberg, 17 June 2020

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