Goldman Sachs trying to negotiate its way out of 1MDB charges: Nikkei

Nikkei Asian Review has reported that two rounds of talks between Goldman Sachs and Malaysian authorities have taken place so far.
Reuters

Goldman Sachs is negotiating with Malaysia to have its 1MDB-related criminal charges dropped, Nikkei Asian Review has reported.

Citing Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas, the financial news website said that two rounds of talks between Goldman Sachs and Malaysian authorities have taken place so far.

Thomas was quoted as saying that there has so far been no agreement made, and that “criminal charges and settlement negotiations are happening in parallel”.

“They are not mutually exclusive,” he reportedly said.

The Malaysian government is seeking US$3.3 billion in compensation from the American investment bank, which was slapped with criminal charges related to the 1MDB scandal in December last year.

The three Goldman Sachs subsidiaries implicated are Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC, Goldman Sachs International (UK) and Goldman Sachs (Singapore). In total, 17 current and former Goldman executives – including Tim Leissner and Roger Ng – have also been accused of wrongdoing, Reuters reported.

Read also: 17 current and former Goldman Sachs directors are facing criminal charges over the 1MDB scandal, including Alibaba’s president

Thomas, who Nikkei identified as the leader of Malaysia’s negotiations with the bank, reportedly said that discussions could continue even after trial starts on October 22.

“We have a strong case and are very confident of winning it. But if you want to negotiate, the doors are open,” he was quoted as saying.

In June, it was revealed by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad that Goldman Sachs offered Malaysia 1 billion ringgit ($241 million) in compensation. According to Bloomberg, Mahathir called the amount “little” in comparison to the “huge killing” the bank made.

Read also: Goldman Sachs ‘cheated’ Malaysia over 1MDB: PM Mahathir

“They did offer some little compensation, it’s not enough,” Mahathir was quoted as saying.

According to Bloomberg, the premier added that it had wanted to settle the matter with Goldman Sachs “in-house”, and lamented that “it seems that they are not willing to offer a reasonable sum of money”.

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