Goldman Sachs has agreed a $3.9 billion settlement with Malaysia over the 1MDB scandal

  • Goldman Sachs has agreed a multi-billion dollar settlement with the Malaysian government over its involvement in the 1MDB financial scandal.
  • The settlement is worth $3.9 billion, Malaysia’s government said. $2.5 billion of that will be paid in cash.
  • The 1MDB scandal centres on the eponymous fund, official 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, a wealth fund in the east Asian nation that raised around $12 billion, most of which was allegedly embezzled or laundered.
  • The scandal is so wild that it has links to everything from the Wolf of Wall Street film, to supermodel Miranda Kerr, to US President Donald Trump. 
  • “There are important lessons to be learned from this situation,” Goldman said in a statement.

Goldman Sachs has agreed a settlement of close to $4 billion with the Malaysian government over its involvement with 1MDB, which became one of the biggest financial scandals in history.

The settlement was confirmed by Goldman Sachs as well as the Malaysian ministry of finance.

“Today’s settlement is an important step towards putting the 1MDB matter behind us and will help enable the Malaysian government to move forward with additional recovery efforts and to execute on its economic priorities,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement.

The settlement will see Goldman pay $3.9 billion to Malaysia, made up of $2.5 billion in cash and $1.4 billion in the form of “a guarantee of a full recovery value of at least $1.4 billion in assets that are traceable to the diverted proceeds from the three bond transactions,” Malaysia’s government said.

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“This settlement represents assets that rightfully belong to the Malaysian people. We are confident that we are securing more money from Goldman Sachs compared to previous attempts, which were far below expectations,” Malaysia’s finance minister, Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, said.

The 1MDB scandal centres on the eponymous fund, official 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, a sovereign wealth fund in the east Asian nation that raised around $12 billion, much of which was allegedly embezzled or laundered.

It has links to everything from the Wolf of Wall Street film, to supermodel Miranda Kerr, to US President Donald Trump. It even led to the ouster of Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, in 2018.

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Goldman’s involvement centers on around $6.5 billion in bonds that the bank helped 1MDB raise. Malaysian prosecutors accused Goldman of misleading investors over the fundraising.

Goldman has consistently denied any wrongdoing, saying it was misled by members of the country’s government and 1MDB itself.

“There are important lessons to be learned from this situation, and we must be self-critical to ensure that we only improve from the experience,” Goldman Sachs said.

Read a full history of 1MDB and the scandal surrounding the fund here.

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