Malaysian prosecutors on Friday dropped criminal charges against three Goldman Sachs units accused of misleading investors out of more than $ 6.5 billion in bond sales they helped organize for a state fund, the state news agency Bernama reported.
The move comes after Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $ 3.9 billion to Malaysia to settle an investigation into its alleged role in the scandal involving the fund, 1MDB, which counts former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as one of its co-founders.
The US Department of Justice estimates that $ 4.5 billion of 1MDB was embezzled between 2009 and 2014, including some of the funds that Goldman Sachs helped raise.
The units, based in London, Hong Kong and Singapore, had pleaded not guilty in February and the bank has consistently denied wrongdoing.
“Goldman Sachs International Ltd, Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs (Singapore) are therefore released, which amounts to an acquittal of the four charges brought against them,” Bernama quoted Superior Court Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan saying he granted prosecutors the request. .
Attorneys for Goldman Sachs and the prosecution could not immediately be reached for comment.
As part of its deal with Malaysia, Goldman paid out $ 2.5 billion in cash and guaranteed the return of $ 1.4 billion in 1MDB assets seized around the world.
At least six countries, including Switzerland and Singapore, have opened money laundering and corruption investigations at 1MDB in a scandal involving Najib and high-level officials at the fund.
In July, Najib was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to 12 years in prison in the first of several trials he faces for more than 1MDB. Najib has maintained that he is innocent.
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