Goldman Sachs has agreed to a settlement of close to $4 billion with the Malaysian government over the bank’s involvement with 1MDB, which became one of the biggest financial scandals in history.
The settlement was confirmed by Goldman Sachs as well as the Malaysian Ministry of Finance.
“Today’s settlement is an important step towards putting the 1MDB matter behind us and will help enable the Malaysian government to move forward with additional recovery efforts and to execute on its economic priorities,” Goldman Sachs said in a statement.
The settlement will see Goldman pay $3.9 billion to Malaysia, consisting of $2.5 billion in cash and $1.4 billion in the form of “a guarantee of a full recovery value of at least $1.4 billion in assets that are traceable to the diverted proceeds from the three bond transactions,” Malaysia’s government said.
“This settlement represents assets that rightfully belong to the Malaysian people,” Malaysia’s finance minister, Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, said. “We are confident that we are securing more money from Goldman Sachs compared to previous attempts, which were far below expectations.”
The 1MDB scandal centers on 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, a sovereign-wealth fund in the Southeast Asian nation that raised about $12 billion, much of which was said to be embezzled or laundered.
It has links to everything from the “Wolf of Wall Street” film to the supermodel Miranda Kerr to President Donald Trump. It helped lead to the ouster of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2018.
Goldman’s involvement centers on about $6.5 billion in bonds that the bank helped 1MDB raise. Malaysian prosecutors accused Goldman of misleading investors over the fundraising.
Goldman has consistently denied any wrongdoing, saying it was misled by members of the country’s government and 1MDB itself.
“There are important lessons to be learned from this situation, and we must be self-critical to ensure that we only improve from the experience,” Goldman Sachs said.