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Malaysia's Finance Minister Wants Goldman's $ 7.5 Billion, Not an Apology



PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia – Malaysia's finance minister waved off and apology from

            Goldman Sachs
            

      David Solomon, Chief Executive Officer for the role of one of his then-bankers in the scandal surrounding state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., Saying it was not enough.

Lim Guan Eng said Friday that the only apology that would matter is one that comes with full reimbursement and repairs for the $ 6.5 billion the 1MDB fund raised with the investment bank's help. Prosecutors say much of the money was later siphoned off, with several hundred million dollars going to the personal accounts of then-leader Najib Razak.

The former prime minister has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of money laundering and other offenses. 1

9659004] "Only when you pay repair and compensation, then that will be sufficient," Mr. Lim customs reporters, saying an appropriate figure would be $ 7.5 billion. [Added] Malaysia would consider dropping charges it filed against Goldman Sachs if it was compensated for the full amount raised.

With the indictment of two former senior Goldman Sachs bankers, accused at US prosecutors of paying bribes, stealing and laundering money from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, the Wall Street giant finds itself at the center of one of the world's largest-ever financial scandals. Photo: Reuters
    

"As we have stated previously, Goldman Sachs was named at certain members of the former Malaysian government and 1MDB," a spokesman for the investment bank said. "We are vigorously contesting the charges brought against us." Goldman Sachs has been involved in the scandal at 1MDB because of its role as an underwriter and arranger for three bond sales that raised $ 6.5 billion for the fund. Much of the total has gone missing, kicking a multinational investigation from Switzerland to the U.S. It also contributed to the defeat of Mr. Najib's government in elections in May

U.S. prosecutors charged two former Goldman bankers in November in relation to the theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB. . The other former Goldman banker, Roger Ng, was arrested in Malaysia in November at the request of U.S. myndigheder. He is in custody facing extradition to the U.S. to face criminal charges against the scandal and could not be reached for comment. His lawyer was immediately reached for comment

Malaysia also filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs last month for his role in arranging the bond issues.

Mr. Solomon, the chief executive, apologized to the Malaysian people for Mr. Leissner's involvement in the scandal during a conference call Wednesday to discuss the bank's fourth-quarter results.

"At least he accepted that they have to bear and shoulder some responsibility," Mr. Lim said. "But that apology is insufficient."

Write to Yantoultra Ngui at yantoultra.ngui@wsj.com


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