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Deutsche Bank faces US Justice Department probe of 1MDB deals

Bloomberg/Michael Nagle

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Investigators, who have spent years examining Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s lucrative dealings with the fund, are now taking a closer look at a former Goldman executive who later worked at the German bank.

Thursday 11, July 2019

The US Department of Justice is investigating Deutsche Bank as part of a broadened probe of Malaysia’s scandal-plagued 1MDB investment fund, reported Bloomberg.

The inquiry aims to determine whether Deutsche Bank might have violated foreign-corruption or anti-money-laundering (AML) laws as it helped 1MDB raise $1.2 billion in 2014.

Tim Leissner, another ex-Goldman executive who pleaded guilty last year for his role in the scandal, has been helping with the Deutsche Bank examination.

The Frankfurt-based lender said, “Deutsche Bank has cooperated fully with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies that have made inquiries relating to 1MDB, it pointed to asset-forfeiture documents previously filed by the US Justice Department indicating 1MDB misled Deutsche Bank during transactions.”

Probes into 1MDB have mainly focused on more than $6 billion the fund raised in 2012 and 2013 with help from Goldman Sachs, which reaped almost $600 million in fees.

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.

US Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, said, “We do anticipate getting into active discussions with Goldman, at this point, in the near future.”

The investigation of Deutsche Bank is emerging just as the lender makes its most dramatic effort yet to overhaul its business after a decade in which it paid more than $18 billion in fines and other legal costs.

Leissner, Goldman’s former head of Southeast Asia, pleaded guilty last year to the US charges that he conspired to launder money and violated the Foreign Corrupt Practises Act. Leissner also agreed to forfeit $43.7 million and admitted to bribing officials in Malaysia and the UAE to get bond deals for Goldman Sachs.

TAGS : US Justice Department, Deutsche Bank, 1MDB, Tim Leissner, Goldman Sachs Group, former Prime Minister Najib Razak, Jho Low

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