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US indictment on 1MDB financer Jho Low, Goldman Sachs bankers explained

22 7 11

JHO Low, the Malaysian financer at the centre of the country’s corruption scandal, and two other high-flying Goldman Sachs bankers were slapped with formal charges in the US on Thursday for embezzling billions from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.

The US Justice Department alleges a total of US$4.5 billion was laundered from 1MDB in a scandal that rocked the Southeast Asian nation and which was a key factor in former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s removal from office earlier this year.

The 36-year-old Low, whose real name is Low Taek Jho, was indicted in the federal court in the Eastern District of New York on Thursday, the same day the department arrested former Goldman Sachs banker, Ng Chong Hwa (Roger Ng), was arrested in Malaysia.

The department also unsealed charges against Tim Leissner, another ex-Goldman banker who earlier pleaded guilty and agreed to pay US$43.7 million in restitution of ill-gotten gains.

Jho Low and Ludacris attend Angel Ball 2014 hosted by Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation at Cipriani Wall Street on October 20, 2014 in New York City. Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/AFP

The two bankers were charged with conspiracy to commit bribery and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The charges are the first in the US in the case which had prompted investigations in at least six countries.

The scandal has raised fresh questions about corporate culture at the prestigious investment bank. Here are some of the key takeaways from the case based on the full statement released by the DOJ:

Bribes and conspiracy

Apart from charges on conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB, Ng is accused of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act........

© Asian Correspondent