U.S. probes Deutsche Bank's dealings with Malaysia's 1MDB

14 Juillet, 2019, 04:42 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Germany's Deutsche Bank points to asset forfeiture documents filed by the US DoJ that show it had been misled by 1MDB. – EPA pic

The United States Department of Justice is investigating whether Deutsche Bank broke laws in dealings with Malaysia's 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investment fund that included helping it raise US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) in 2014, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing unidentified sources.

Global financial news wire Bloomberg previously reported her links to Goldman Sachs executive Roger Ng, who introduced Tan to Low Taek Jho, the Penang-born fugitive better known as Jho Low said to have masterminded the misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

"As stated in asset forfeiture complaints filed by the US Department of Justice, 1MDB made "material misrepresentations and omissions to Deutsche Bank officials" in connection with 1MDB's transactions with the bank", the bank told Reuters.

In a statement, Deutsche Bank said it had fully cooperated with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies that made inquiries.

Tim Leissner, Goldman Sachs' former top man in southeast Asia is helping officials look at Deutsche Bank, the newspaper said.

The US Department of Justice opened an investigation into whether Deutsche Bank, Germany's embattled biggest lender, violated foreign financial laws in its work for 1MDB, American media reported Wednesday.

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The New York-based bank, which has said it's cooperating with related investigations, has portrayed Leissner as a rogue employee who circumvented its internal controls and the Justice Department now expects to start negotiating with Goldman Sachs soon to potentially resolve a criminal probe.

"We do anticipate getting into active discussions with Goldman, at this point, in the near future", Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, who runs the agency's criminal division, said in an interview.

Leissner, Goldman's former head of Southeast Asia, pleaded guilty previous year to USA charges that he conspired to launder money and violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The German bank's involvement in the massive graft scandal is a further blow: the lender just said it will cut one-fifth of its 91,000-person workforce and set up a "bad bank" in a recovery bid. It paid more than $18 billion in fines and other legal costs over the decade.

WSJ reported Tan left Deutsche Bank a year ago after it discovered her communications with Low, but it is unclear if she resigned or was sacked. Goldman Sachs handled the deals, reaping nearly US$600 million in fees. USA prosecutors have portrayed Low as the mastermind behind the scandal surrounding 1MDB, though he has consistently denied wrongdoing.

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