GEORGE TOWN, Nov 7 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told Goldman Sachs today to return the US$588 million (RM2.4 billion) fees it was paid for its work with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He said the American investment bank was paid the fees for raising bonds totalling US$6.5 billion (RM23.29 billion) for the Malaysian state investment firm back in 2012 and 2013.
“They must pay us back this money, not only the US$588 million but much more than that,” he said during a briefing on Budget 2019 at Equatorial Hotel here.
He said there were consequential losses due to the fees paid as it had cost Malaysia big losses.
“Even the Goldman Sachs chief executive officer has admitted that its employees had broken the law in this,” he said.
He claimed it might not only be the employees who were involved in the dealings with 1MDB; it could even go “all the way to the top”.
He said since Goldman Sachs has admitted to its involvement in the 1MDB financial scandal, it should undertake to return the fees it was paid.
He said Malaysia needed the money as the country was currently saddled with RM1 trillion of debt due to the 1MDB scandal.
United States prosecutors have filed criminal charges against two former Goldman Sachs bankers and a Malaysian financier linked to the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB.
Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to forfeit US$43.7 million (RM181.8 million).
It was revealed that Goldman Sachs generated about US$588 million (RM2.4 billion) in fees for raising three bonds worth US$6.5 billion (RM23.29 billion) in 2012 and 2013.
Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon told an interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore recently that it was “distressing” to find two former Goldman Sachs bankers went around the bank’s policies and broke the law in their dealings with 1MDB.