Goldman Sachs freed from 1MDB bond sale charges

by BERNAMA / pic by BERNAMA

THE High Court here today acquitted and discharged UK-based Goldman Sachs International Ltd and its two Asian entities, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore), on charges relating to the sale of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) bonds amounting to RM27.2 billion (US$6.5 billion).

Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan made the decision after Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Masri Mohd Daud informed the court that the prosecution did not intend to pursue the charges against all the accused, and therefore applied to withdraw all the charges against Goldman Sachs.

“Goldman Sachs International Ltd, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore) are therefore discharged amounting to an acquittal from all four charges made against them,” said Justice  Mohamed Zaini.

In December 2018, Malaysia filed four charges against the three entities for allegedly leaving out material facts on the sales of bonds between a subsidiary of 1MDB and Aabar Investment PJS Ltd (Aabar).

The offences were allegedly committed at 1MDB, Level 8, Menara IMC, No. 8, Jalan Sultan Ismail, here, between March 19, 2012, and Nov 11, 2013.

The company was charged under Section 179 (c) of the Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 and punishable under Section 182 of the same Act,  which provides an imprisonment for up to 10 years and fine of not less than RM1 million, upon conviction.

The United States Department of Justice estimated that about $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014.

On July 4, the Finance Ministry (MoF) was reported as saying that the Goldman Sachs has agreed to a total settlement of US$3.9 billion (RM16.6 billion) to resolve outstanding charges and claims related to the three bond transactions that the company had structured and arranged for 1MDB.

The MoF in a statement said, the settlement includes a cash payment of US$2.5 billion and a guarantee of a full recovery value of at least US$1.4 billion in assets that are traceable to the diverted proceeds from the three bond transactions.