Billion dollar fine in 1MDB scandal: Goldman Sachs pleads guilty


Goldman Sachs accepts a billion-euro fine for involvement in the 1MDB scandal. The Malaysian sovereign wealth fund was actually supposed to serve to promote the economy – but ended up in the private accounts of corrupt members of the government.

The major US bank Goldman Sachs accepts a billion-euro fine for its role in the corruption and money laundering scandal involving the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. The financial group will pay a total of 2.9 billion dollars (currently around 2.5 billion euros) in a settlement with authorities in the United States, Great Britain, Singapore and other countries, the US Department of Justice announced in Washington on Thursday.

In connection with the 1MDB scandal, Goldman Sachs is accused, among other things, of having bribed government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi with bribes of more than a billion dollars. Lawyers of the bank had previously pleaded guilty on behalf of Goldman Malaysia to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in New York court.

The 1MDB fund was set up in 2009 to promote Malaysia’s economy, but ex-government members and shady consultants allegedly embezzled the bulk of the funds, allegedly with the help of former Goldman employees. The bank was involved in the issuance of $6.5 billion in bonds from the fund and is said to have charged excessive fees.

Bank wants to bring back millions of dollars of responsible top managers

At the end of July, Goldman Sachs had already agreed with the Malaysian government on a billion-euro payment. The agreement includes a direct payment of 2.5 billion dollars (currently 2.11 billion euros) to the Malaysian state. Another $1.4 billion from confiscated assets of 1MDB is to be repatriated with the help of Goldman Sachs and the US Department of Justice.

According to the “Wall Street Journal”, the bank wants to recover millions of dollars from current and former top managers in whose area of responsibility the involvement in the 1MDB affair fell. Also affected are the current CEO David Solomon and his predecessor Lloyd Blankfein, the financial paper reported with reference to insiders. On the stock exchange, however, the billion-euro fine was calmly received, and Goldman Sachs shares hardly reacted at all.



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