SINGAPORE (Nov 5): US authorities have indicted Low Taek Jho and former Goldman Sachs managing director Roger Ng Chong Hwa for their roles in laundering billions of dollars in illegal proceeds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). They are also accused of paying hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes to both Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials, thereby violating the US’ Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Ng, 51, was arrested in Malaysia on Nov 1 at the request of US authorities. However, Low, popularly known as Jho Low, remains at large. Ng has been charged with conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of Goldman, which helped 1MDB issue more than US$6 billion in bonds via three separate offerings in 2012 and 2013. The bond offerings were dubbed by Goldman as “Project Magnolia”, “Project Maximus” and “Project Catalyze”.

Separately, Tim Leissner, 48, former Southeast Asia chairman for Goldman Sachs, has pleaded guilty to two counts: one, for money laundering and violating the FCPA, and, two, for skirting Goldman’s internal accounting controls. He has been ordered to forfeit US$43.7 million ($60.2 million). After his involvement in 1MDB became clear, Leissner was slapped with a 10-year prohibition order by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, which banishes him from the financial industry here. Since then, he has been cooperating with the US authorities.

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