Report: 1MDB-linked ex-banker to plead guilty to money-laundering

Yeo-Jiawei-1mdb-bandar-malaysia-1KUALA LUMPUR: Ex-BSI wealth planner Yeo Jiawei is expected to plead guilty in a Singapore court tomorrow to money-laundering charges related to 1MDB, according to Edgemarkets.

Last December, a Singapore court sentenced Yeo, 34, to 30 months’ jail on four counts of witness tampering and trying to hamper investigations related to 1MDB transactions.

Edgemarkets reported that it was not clear whether the appeal of Yeo against his conviction and sentencing, scheduled for August 5, would continue if he pleads guilty to money-laundering tomorrow.

Channel News Asia had reported, at the conclusion of the earlier trial, that Yeo faced seven other charges for money laundering, cheating and forgery and that the charges would be filed in 2017.

The money-laundering charge is the heftiest of the charges that have been levied against any banker in Singapore as a result of the 1MDB fiasco.

During the trial, prosecutors had described Yeo as a central figure in a complex web of cross-border fund flows involving money allegedly siphoned from 1MDB.

Yeo received the stiffest sentence out of the five 1MDB-related convictions in Singapore so far.

Prosecutors had presented evidence showing Yeo’s close ties to Low, including that he had accumulated a net worth of S$23.9 million in the 15 months after he left BSI to work for Low in June 2014.

The court was also told how Yeo flew to Hong Kong with Low and his entourage on a private jet, and how Yeo spent the night at Low’s place.

Singapore is the only nation to have charged and convicted individuals linked to 1MDB funds that flowed through banks and financial institutions there.

The US is taking court action to seize more than US$1 billion in assets it says were bought using money allegedly stolen from 1MDB and which went through its banking system.

Malaysian police are still investigating the allegations linked to 1MDB.

1MDB denies that any money had been misappropriated, and has offered to cooperate in any investigation.

The 1MDB fiasco broke on Feb 28, 2015 when UK-based investigative portal, the Sarawak Report, published a report accusing Low of siphoning as much as US$700 million from 1MDB.