Malaysia has expanded efforts to prosecute Goldman Sachs Group Inc. employees it alleges were involved in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB fraud, filing criminal charges against more than a dozen current and former senior executives based around the world.
Vice Chairman Richard J. Gnodde, who heads the Wall Street firm’s international business in London, and J. Michael Evans, a former partner at the U.S. bank who is now president of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., were among those named. Other high-profile people charged include a former adviser to former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the bank’s chief risk officer, reports Bloomberg.
They were directors of three Goldman Sachs units that Malaysia has accused of misleading investors when arranging $6.5 billion in bond sales for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013, reports MSN.
The directors knew the funds would be misappropriated, Malaysian officials allege. The country announced charges against the entities in December, though prosecutors have struggled to serve to the respective Goldman Sachs units. Malaysia will seek custodial sentences and criminal fines against the individuals, Malaysia’s Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said in a statement Friday.
“We believe the charges announced today, along with those against three Goldman Sachs entities announced in December last year, are misdirected and will be vigorously defended,” a Goldman Sachs spokesman said by email.
Law enforcement agencies from the U.S. to Singapore are investigating the money trail of billions of dollars that were allegedly siphoned in the 1MDB case. Goldman Sachs, which received some $600 million in fees for the bond sales, has been under close scrutiny. U.S. prosecutors have charged two former bankers at the firm.