KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Audit firm Deloitte PLT has agreed to pay US$80 million (RM324 million) to the Malaysian government as settlement of all legal claims related to their fiduciary duty on the auditing of accounts of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and SRC International Sdn Bhd from 2011 to 2014, the Finance Ministry announced today.
According to the ministry, Deloitte’s settlement agreement would speed up the payment of funds, as compared to if the claims were pursued in possibly long court processes.
“The successful out-of-court settlement with Deloitte will expedite the payment of monies, to fulfil 1MDB and SRC’s outstanding obligations, which would otherwise be delayed by potentially protracted and costly court battles,” the ministry said in a statement today.
In the same statement, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz said: “This marks another success in the Malaysian government’s continuing recovery efforts against parties involved in 1MDB, SRC and its related entities.
“The Malaysian government is determined to ensure that appropriate actions are taken against all individuals or entities involved, directly or indirectly, in the global 1MDB scheme,” Tengku Zafrul also said.
The ministry said the RM324 million Deloitte agreed to pay was the “largest 1MDB-related settlement by an audit firm in South East Asia.”
The announcement today comes just less than a week after the Finance Ministry’s February 26 success in striking a deal with AmBank Group’s holding company AMMB Holdings Berhad for the banking group to pay RM2.83 billion as global settlement of all claims related to its involvement in the 1MDB matter.
This is on top of the Malaysian government’s July 2020 success in negotiating with Goldman Sachs on a RM15.8 billion (US$3.9 billion) settlement on the 1MDB matter.
Under the previous US$3.9 billion deal which similarly resolved all outstanding charges and claims against Goldman Sachs, the settlement with Malaysia includes Goldman Sachs’ cash payment of US$2.5 billion (RM10.6 billion) and guarantee of full recovery value of at least US$1.4 billion (RM5.9 billion) in assets traceable to proceeds diverted from three 1MDB-linked bonds which it had helped arrange.
The ministry today however reassured: “These settlements will neither affect nor compromise Malaysia’s claims against individuals like Jho Low and other parties related thereto, and who are still being actively pursued in relation to the 1MDB scandal.”
On the Deloitte settlement announced today, the ministry thanked the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Royal Malaysia Police, the National Anti-Financial Crime Centre (NAFCC), the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the National Centre for Governance, Integrity and Anti-Corruption (GIACC) for their efforts in achieving the settlement.
On March 1, DAP’s Damansara MP Tony Pua urged the Finance Ministry to focus on the claims against former 1MDB auditors, KPMG and Deloitte Malaysia, following the Ambank settlement, and to ensure similar resolutions with KPMG and Deloitte through the courts or a settlement.
Previously in a November 25, 2020 written parliamentary reply, the Finance Ministry said the combined outstanding amount of government-guaranteed debts owed by 1MDB and its former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd stands at RM44.5 billion, with the federal government required to pay RM3.2721 billion of this figure in 2021.