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July 29, 2020

Goldman Sachs’ 1MDB Settlement with Malaysia Included Better Markets’ Suggested Terms; Now DOJ Needs to Seriously Punish its Crimes

Better Markets was pleased to see that the Malaysian settlement included not only substantial fines but also a mandate that Goldman Sachs cover the cost of recovering assets sitting abroad, a term that we have long advocated for. 

Better Markets immediately issued a statement following the news that Goldman Sachs had reached a nearly $4 billion settlement with Malaysia for enabling and participating in the global crime spree related to 1MDB.

“It is still too little and too late, but Goldman Sachs has settled with Malaysia for enabling and participating in the global crime spree related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB),” says Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets. “We have said  Better Markets has said from the beginning that Goldman Sachs should prioritize settling with Malaysia, pay substantial amounts, help it recover the looted assets, and enable the country to move on to its economic priorities. It could have been and should have been more, but that’s what this settlement largely does, including, importantly, Goldman ‘covering the costs to appoint an asset recovery specialist to acquire assets sitting abroad.’

“Attention now turns to the all-important settlement Goldman is negotiating with the Department of Justice (DOJ), which should be unmistakably severe. This is warranted given Goldman Sachs’ recidivist history and its shocking 1MDB conduct here, including the involvement of more than 30 Goldman executives, including the CEO. Not only did Goldman’s reported 1MDB actions enable the looting of an entire country, but they undermined and corrupted the country’s democracy and involved the deaths of several people, including a prosecutor who was brutally murdered investigating the 1MDB crimes.

“All eyes are watching DOJ, which must end the practice of sweetheart settlements where Wall Street’s biggest banks buy get-out-of-jail free cards with shareholders’ money while executives pocket billions in bonuses from illegal and criminal conduct.”

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