Goldman Sachs Reaches $3.9B Settlement With Malaysia Over 1MDB Corruption Case

Paramount Pictures
'The Wolf of Wall Street'

The investment bank issued bonds that raised $6.5 billion, which was then allegedly siphoned off and used to finance, among other things, 'The Wolf of Wall Street.'

Goldman Sachs has agreed to a $3.9 billion settlement with the Malaysian government over the 1MDB scandal. 

According to Reuters, the deal includes a $2.5 billion cash payout by the investment bank and a guarantee to return at least $1.4 billion in assets connected to 1MDB bonds. 

Prosecutors in Malaysia filed charges in December 2018 accusing Goldman Sachs of misleading investors when it issued two rounds of bonds in 2012 and 2013 raising a total of $6.5 billion for 1MBD, a Malaysian sovereign investment fund now mired in scandal. 

Rather than be used to invest in Malaysia, however, much of this money was allegedly siphoned into offshores accounts. According to the U.S. Department of Justice in its record-breaking forfeiture claim in 2016, millions of dollars of stolen 1MDB money was used to set up, among other things, Red Granite Pictures, the production company founded by Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland and to finance its hit film The Wolf of Wall Street. The money was also allegedly used by Jho Low, the Malaysian fugitive at the center of the scandal and now sought by U.S. and Malaysia authorities, to purchase luxury properties in LA and New York, and to fund a gambling trip to Las Vegas attended by Low, McFarland, Aziz and Leonardo DiCaprio. 

Goldman Sachs has denied any wrongdoing, claiming they were lied about how the proceeds from the bond sales would be used by members of Malaysia's previous government, which was led by Najib Razak, arrested in 2018 and now facing multiple charges of corruption.