Goldman Sachs seeking review of US$2 billion fines over 1MDB scandal, says report

Goldman Sachs had raised some US$6.5 billion for 1MDB, earning US$600 million in fees. (Reuters pic)

PETALING JAYA: Goldman Sachs, which has been hit with more than US$2 billion in fines for its role in the 1MDB scandal, is attempting to get US federal prosecutors to review their demands, The New York Times reports.

The report, citing information from three people briefed on the matter, said the bank’s lawyers have asked US Deputy Attorney-General Jeffrey Rosen to ease up on the demand that Goldman pay more than the US$2 billion in fines and plead guilty to a felony charge.

According to unnamed sources, it said, Goldman is seeking to pay a lower fine and avoid a guilty plea.

The report noted that the request, made several weeks ago, was not unusual for investigations involving high-profile corporate companies. It said such requests normally come in the final stages of settlement talks.

It also said representatives for prosecutors and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had declined to comment, while a Goldman spokesman only said the bank continued to engage with all relevant authorities.

If Goldman can reach a settlement, it would resolve its part in the nearly five-year investigation into allegations of bribery, corruption and money laundering involving 1MDB.

Goldman had raised some US$6.5 billion for 1MDB, earning US$600 million in fees.

Bloomberg previously reported that the DoJ and other US federal agencies had discussed plans to seek penalties of between US$1.5 billion and US$2 billion from Goldman.

In an interview with the Financial Times last November, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia had rejected an offer of less than US$2 billion in compensation from Goldman for the scandal.

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