Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a "10 Minute Warning" the show is about to begin. The CURTAIN WILL BE RISING AT THE END OF THIS 10 MINUTES...PLEASE GET YOUR REFRESHMENTS AND BE SEATED.


The Multi-billion-Dollar Fraud Scandal at a Malaysian Government Fund is widening its net.

The Scandal that has toppled Malaysia’s Prime Minister, has now put Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in the bull's eye of criminal charges.

This slick German banker represented one of the world's most powerful financial institutions, Goldman Sachs, at a time that the bank was charging into Asia.

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, Timothy Leissner's deal-making in Southeast Asia (Malaysia in particular) netted the bank significant revenues and he rose to become the company's chairman in the region. But the biggest deals would come when he crossed paths with Jho Low - alleged to be the power player behind 1MDB.

Goldman had previously rejected Mr. Low as a client, after compliance officials raised concerns about the source of his money. But, according to a US indictment, Mr Leissner and another Goldman banker, Roger Ng, used Mr Low's powerful connections to obtain business for Goldman.

The bank is alleged to have earned an eye-popping $600m in fees for arranging and underwriting three bond sales to raise $6.5bn for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.

Mr Leissner has pleaded guilty to US charges of conspiring to launder money and violating anti-corruption laws by bribing foreign officials.

Goldman's role in the 1MDB scandal in 300 words Malaysia has also filed charges against him, Mr Ng and Goldman Sachs itself. Mr Ng, who left Goldman in 2014, denies all the charges against him.

Goldman Sachs, which denies any wrongdoing, called the charges "misdirected" and vowed to "vigorously defend them". It has sought to portray Mr Leissner, whom it suspended in 2016, as having gone rogue and has apologised for his behaviour.

But the Malaysian government has rejected the apology and called for the bank to cough up $7.5bn in reparations.

Amid widening fallout, the Obama's 2012 Campaign Funding raising has been ensnared as it has been discovered the Obama campaign illegally accepted millions in foreign money from a former Fugees rapper Pras Michel.

He has just been indicted on charges of funneling millions of dollars in foreign money to then President Obama’s 2012 re-election effort amid widening fallout

An indictment charging Mr. Michel with four counts including conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and making foreign campaign contributions was unsealed Friday.


The founding member of the Fugees hip-hop group was accused of taking money from a Malaysian businessman, who is the alleged mastermind of the fraud at Malaysia’s 1MDB fund, and using around $2 million to support Mr. Obama’s campaign illegally. The businessman is Jho Low, who was indicted last year on conspiracy charges.

According to the indictment, Mr. Michel paid $1 million in money he received from Mr. Low to a 2012 political group that supported Mr. Obama, and an additional $865,000 to straw donors to support Mr. Obama’s campaign—people he reimbursed for their contributions.


1MDB was a state economic-development fund set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009. The U.S. Justice Department has said at least $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund between 2009 and 2014 and used to pay bribes to government officials and pad a slush fund controlled by the former prime minister.

During 2012, Mr. Michel became a major donor to organizations that backed Mr. Obama’s campaign, The Wall Street Journal has previously reported. Over September and October of 2012, he donated more than $1.3 million, including $1,225,000 to a super PAC called Black Men Vote.

Mr. Michel also made other donations that year, including $40,000 to the Obama Victory Fund; $33,332.52 in total to DEMOCRATIC PARTIES in Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Iowa, Florida and Colorado.

He made an additional $2,500 contribution to Obama for America, the official campaign vehicle for Mr. Obama.

The Journal has reported that prosecutors have been examining whether laundered funds from Mr. Low went to a stream of consultants and lobbyists and both Democratic and Republican donors.

Mr. Low sought out teams of lobbyists in part to help shut down the Justice Department’s investigation of 1MDB, one of his associates has admitted in court.

A former Justice Department employee, George Higginbotham, pleaded guilty in November to helping funnel tens of millions of dollars into the U.S. for Mr. Low, by helping him conceal from U.S. banks the origin and purpose of the funds.

Earlier this week, a former Goldman Sachs managing director was extradited from Malaysia to face related charges in federal court in Brooklyn, increasing pressure on the bank, which underwrote $6.5 billion in bonds for 1MDB.

Goldman has consistently denied wrongdoing. The bank said certain individuals from the former Malaysian government and 1MDB lied to it about the proceeds from the bond sales.

In a sign of the high level of interest in the continuing 1MDB investigation by the Justice Department’s leadership, both Attorney General William Barr and the assistant attorney general overseeing the criminal division, Brian Benczkowski, received waivers to participate in the investigation and related litigation.

They were both originally recused from the matter because Goldman hired their former law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, to represent it in the investigation.

It is unclear when Mr. Michel, known for performing the song “Ghetto Supastar (That Is What You Are),” first got to know Mr. Low, but the indictment says Mr. Low provided him with around $21 million in 2012.

Both men tried “to gain access to and potential influence with” a candidate identifiable as Mr. Obama, while “concealing…the true source of the money,” the indictment says.

Mr. Michel sought to have Mr. Low attend several fundraisers, including one in June 2012 for which Mr. Low traveled from Singapore to Miami on his private jet.

He was denied admission shortly before the event began, the indictment says, but Mr. Michel brought Mr. Low’s father to another fundraiser, in which the two men had their picture taken with Mr. Obama.

US prosecutors say Mr Low leveraged his powerful political connections to win business for 1MDB through the payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes.

Billions, they say, were laundered through the US financial system and used to buy some of the world's most expensive real estate, purchase coveted artwork, and finance Hollywood films.

Authorities in at least six countries are investigating suspected money laundering and graft linked to 1MDB, set up in 2009 by the then Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak.



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12 May 2019

By Trader