FT: Goldman chief says hasn’t discussed 1MDB settlement with US Justice Dept

Last week, a spokesman from Goldman Sachs told the Financial Times that ‘we do not believe that such a charge would be warranted by the facts of the case or the law’. — Reuters pic
Last week, a spokesman from Goldman Sachs told the Financial Times that ‘we do not believe that such a charge would be warranted by the facts of the case or the law’. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Goldman Sachs has not negotiated a settlement with the US Justice Department (DoJ) over the investment bank’s role in the 1MDB global corruption scandal, its chief executive and chairman David Solomon said.

The Financial Times (FT) reported that US prosecutors investigating the bank have recommended to senior DoJ officials that any settlement should include a parent-level guilty plea, the toughest that prosecutors may seek to impose on a company.

“We haven’t even started discussions with the Justice Department about any of that,” Solomon said when asked during an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Last week, a Goldman spokesman told the Financial Times that “we do not believe that such a charge would be warranted by the facts of the case or the law”.

Unlike other firms, previously Goldman avoided any criminal settlements in the aftermath of the financial crisis and instead paid billions of dollars in civil cases with federal authorities.

“We are very focused on getting this resolved in the best way that we can,” Solomon was quoted saying.

In 2012 and 2013, the bank raised US$6.5 billion (RM26.9 billion) for 1MDB, much of which the US has alleged was ultimately stolen in a scheme masterminded by Malaysian fugitive Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, a central figure in the scandal who has denied wrongdoing.

Two former Goldman bankers have already been charged in connection to the case, with one, Tim Leissner, pleading guilty last year.

Investigations are still ongoing in the 1MDB scandal in several countries including Malaysia.