Abu Dhabi fund sues Goldman Sachs over Malaysian investment fund scam

Nov 22, 2018
New York: An Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund has sued Goldman Sachs for losses linked to Malaysia’s state investment fund scandal.

International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), and its subsidiary, Aabar, on Wednesday filed a summons in a New York state court naming the investment bank as a defendant, reports CNN.

Goldman Sachs played a “central role” in implicating IPIC in the scheme to launder money from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the fund said in a statement.

1MDB and IPIC had been business partners before the scandal came to light.

The Abu Dhabi fund claimed that Goldman conspired with others to bribe former executives of IPIC and Aabar, inducing them to “misuse the companies’ names, networks, and infrastructures to further the criminal schemes and to personally benefit Goldman Sachs” and others, according to the court filing.

It did not say how much in damages IPIC was seeking.

Meanwhile, the bank said it intended to fight the claims.

“We are in the process of assessing the details of allegations and fully expect to contest the claim vigorously,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman said in a statement late Wednesday.

The IPIC suit also named as defendants former Goldman Sachs bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, as well as Andrea Vella, who he bank has placed on leave.

Earlier this month, the US Justice Department announced that Leissner, Goldman’s former chairman of Southeast Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act through the payment of bribes to government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, CNN reported.

The government also filed charges against Ng, and Jho Low, the Malaysian financier who US officials say was behind much of the embezzlement plot.

Ng was arrested in Malaysia and Low remains at large.

In 2012 and 2013, Goldman Sachs arranged three large bond offerings for 1MDB. The bond sales, which raised a total of $6.5 billion, earned Goldman Sachs about $600 million in fees, according to court documents.

But more than $2.7 billion of the proceeds from those offerings was stolen from 1MDB, according to the Justice Department.

The bank, which has reportedly been meeting Justice Department officials, maintains that the accused employees misled its legal and compliance teams about the deals.


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