Global Investigations Review - The law and practice of international investigations

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Wednesday, 08 August 2018

Najib charged with money laundering and breach of trust

Malaysia’s former prime minister, Najib Razak, was charged with three counts of money laundering and breach of trust on 8 August related to the alleged multibillion-dollar looting of state development fund 1MDB, according to Reuters

All of the charges against him involve the transfer of 42 million ringgit ($10.3 million) into Najib’s personal bank accounts from SRC International, a unit of the 1MDB fund. 

If convicted, Najib faces up to 20 years in prison on the breach of trust charges and up to 15 years' for the alleged money-laundering.

Najib has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

DOJ infighting on Goldman Sachs 1MDB investigation revealed

According to the New York Times, US federal prosecutors in Los Angeles clashed with their counterparts in Brooklyn on whether Goldman Sachs or a bank employee should face criminal charges for their alleged roles in the disappearance of about $4 billion from the Malaysian development fund 1MDB.  

The paper reports that in January, Los Angeles prosecutors told Eastern District of New York prosecutors that they planned to criminally charge former Goldman Sachs investment banker, Tim Leissner, who has been banned from Malaysia’s securities industry for 1MDB-related breaches

However, prosecutors in Brooklyn objected to the filing of charges against Leissner in favour of laying charges against the bank. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly sided with Brooklyn prosecutors, giving them full responsibility for the 1MDB criminal investigation. 

Goldman Sachs and Leissner have not been charged over the matter. 

Conmebol demands restitution from convicted former executive

The South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) has asked the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York to order its convicted former executive José Maria Marin to repay at least $94 million.

In a victim impact statement filed on 6 August, as part of a US Department of Justice foreign bribery case, Conmebol said that the $94 million will cover the amount Marin received in bribes, his Conmebol salary, Conmebol’s legal costs and the lost revenue caused by Marin’s undermining of a legitimate tender process.

Marin was convicted of money laundering and wire fraud on 22 December 2017 in connection with bribes paid to secure media rights at several football tournaments.

Ultra Electronics spent nearly £1 million in six months on investigations costs

Ultra Electronics, a British defence contractor being investigated over alleged corruption in Algeria by the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO), has spent £900,000 in the last six months on anti-bribery investigation costs, the company announced in a half-year report on 6 August

In the half-year report, Ultra Electronics said that it is conducting an internal investigation into the corruption allegations, but that it cannot accurately predict how long the investigation will take or what its outcome will be. 

The SFO launched its investigation into Ultra Electronics in April following a self-report from the defence company. 

GIR understands that Slaughter and May is advising Ultra Electronics on the SFO investigation.

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