US probes Goldman Sachs role in Malaysian fund deals

October 15, 2015 07:40
Goldman Sachs made hundreds of millions of US dollars advising 1MDB. US federal authorities are looking into the bank's role. Photo: Reuters

US federal investigators are examining Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s role in a series of transactions at 1Malaysia Development Bhd., The Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed sources.

The US investment bank made hundreds of millions of US dollars as adviser to the politically connected fund, which is now embroiled in an expanding scandal -- investigators in five countries are now looking into 1MDB.

As part of a broad probe into allegations of money laundering and corruption, investigators at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and the US Justice Department have begun gathering information about the role of Goldman Sachs, the report said.

It said there is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the bank.

Goldman Sachs was consulted during 1MDB’s inception, advised it on three acquisitions and arranged the sale of US$6.5 billion in bonds that alone brought in close to US$600 million in fees, the report said, citing people close to the bank.

1MDB is now entangled in accusations of billions of US dollars of missing money, putting it at the center of a political crisis for Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who oversees the fund.

Earlier this year, Malaysian government investigators said US$700 million had been deposited into Najib’s bank accounts through agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB.

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