Malaysia held talks with Goldman Sachs about dropping charges against three units of the Wall Street bank that prosecutors brought over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal, a report said yesterday.
Huge sums were stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB in a fraud allegedly involving former leader Najib Razak and his cronies, and spent on everything from high-end real estate to a luxury super-yacht.
Goldman’s role has been under scrutiny as it helped arrange bond issues worth $6.5 billion for 1MDB, with Malaysia claiming large amounts were misappropriated in the process.
Last year, Malaysia filed charges against the units of the bank and two ex-employees over the scandal. In August, charges were filed against 17 current and former executives of three Goldman subsidiaries.
The Wall Street Titan says it will fight the charges, and that former members of the Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to the bank.
Malaysian Attorney-General Tommy Thomas told the Nikkei Asian Review that officials held two sets of discussions with the bank about dropping charges and were open to more.
“A lot of cases are even settled even after the trial begins,” he said. “So the doors for discussion are still open while the prosecution readies the criminal case.”