Malaysia open to dropping charges if Goldman Sachs pays $7.5 billion: report

Malaysia open to dropping charges if Goldman Sachs pays $7.5 billion: report
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Malaysia’s finance minister suggested the government may be willing to discuss dropping criminal charges against Goldman Sachs if the bank pays $7.5 billion in reparations, Reuters reported.

“Pay the $7.5 billion, then we can discuss,” Lim Guan Eng was quoted as telling reporters by the news agency

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Goldman Sachs is under investigation from Malaysian authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice over whether the U.S. bank diverted funds from sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The investigations center around Goldman's role underwriting and arranging three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1MDB.

The bank has denied any wrongdoing.

Two former Goldman bankers were charged by U.S prosecutors last year with the theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB.

Lim said the $7.5 billion being sought in reparations from Goldman included fees paid to the bank and bond coupons that were “higher than the market rate,” according to Reuters.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon apologized to Malaysia Wednesday over the scandal but insisted the bank had conducted due diligence before every transaction.

Lim said the apology was “necessary but not sufficient.”

“An apology is not enough. An apology with $7.5 billion, that is what matters.” 

The 1MDB scandal has implicated a number of Malaysian officials, including former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who set up the fund in 2009.

He has denied wrongdoing after allegations arose that $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level fund officials during his tenure, according to Reuters.