Deutsche Bank probed by U.S. over 1MDB dealings

Galtero Lara
Julio 14, 2019

The report added that prosecutors are focused, in particular, on the role of one of Leissner's former colleagues, Tan Boon Kee, who worked with Leissner on 1MDB-related business, before she left Goldman to become Asia-Pacific head of banking for financial-institution clients at Deutsche Bank, where she was involved with further 1MDB dealings.

Citing the latest version of the US Justice Department's civil asset-forfeiture complaint, the WSJ reported that Deutsche Bank was heavily invested in 1MDB with its name mentioned 167 times in the documents compared to Goldman Sachs, which was mentioned 56 times. USA authorities haven't accused Deutsche Bank or the former employee of wrongdoing.

USA officials are investigating whether the crisis-hit Deutsche Bank violated foreign corruption or anti-money-laundering laws in its work for the Malaysian state fund 1MDB, according to reports.

In an emailed statement, Deutsche Bank said it had fully cooperated with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies that made inquiries about the fund.

"1MDB made "material misrepresentations and omissions to Deutsche Bank officials" in connection with 1MDB's transactions with the bank", the statement said, citing Justice Department documents.

Tim Leissner, another ex-Goldman executive who pleaded guilty a year ago for his role in the scandal, has been helping with the Deutsche Bank examination, the paper said, citing unidentified people with knowledge of the matter.

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"This is consistent with the bank's own findings in this matter", it added. Still, DoJ expects to start negotiating with the New York-based firm soon to potentially resolve a criminal probe of the bank, WSJ wrote. Leissner has pleaded guilty in the United States to money laundering and foreign bribery charges.

"We do anticipate getting into active discussions with Goldman, at this point, in the near future", Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski, who runs the agency's criminal division, said in an interview.

The investigation of Deutsche Bank is emerging just as the lender makes its most dramatic effort yet to overhaul its business after a decade in which it paid more than $18 billion in fines and other legal costs.

Tan left Deutsche Bank previous year after it was discovered she had been in contact with Jho Low, the Malaysian financier who allegedly played a central role in the fraud, according to the Journal.

The US news outlet said that the Deutsche Bank investigation comes at a sensitive time for the German financial giant as it is now embroiled in another US criminal money-laundering probe, congressional scrutiny of its relationship with US President Donald Trump and the latter's associates. US prosecutors have portrayed Low as the mastermind behind the scandal surrounding 1MDB, though he has consistently denied wrongdoing.

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