Goldman has previously said it would vigorously contest the charges/Bloombergby Bloomberg
Malaysia has completed the transfer of criminal cases against the three Goldman Sachs Group units facing charges linked to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to a higher court.
The High Court granted the application to move Goldman Sachs Singapore’s case from the Magistrate Court, after previous attempts to do so were unsuccessful as the unit had not successfully been served the court summon.
Aaron Paul Chelliah, the Deputy Public Prosecutor, said, “It’s good news that everything was settled, and the case has been transferred, at least one step in the process is complete, so it’s a big development for us.”
The step helps advance the 1MDB proceedings that have languished since the Southeast Asian country dragged the US bank into its first criminal case more than a year ago.
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas expects the trial to begin in the middle of the year, while saying he’s ready to press ahead with the prosecution by bringing Goldman’s current and former directors to court.
The 1MDB scandal has roiled Malaysian politics and led to lifetime bans against Goldman bankers including Andrea Vella and Tim Leissner from the financial industry. Leissner has pleaded guilty in the US to charges including conspiring to launder money.
Malaysia accused Goldman of misleading investors in arranging $6.5 billion in bond sales for 1MDB, while allegedly knowing the money would be misappropriated. Prosecutors are seeking fines in excess of both the $2.7 billion of allegedly misused funds and the $600 million in fees the bank received on the deals.