Deutsche Bank faces US probe over 1MDB dealings

LOS ANGELES • The United States Department of Justice is investigating whether Deutsche Bank broke laws in dealings with Malaysia's 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investment fund that included helping it raise US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) in 2014, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported, citing unidentified sources.

The authorities are examining whether the Frankfurt-based bank violated foreign corruption or anti-money laundering laws while working with the fund, which officials have said was plundered, WSJ said.

Former Goldman Sachs executive Tim Leissner, who pleaded guilty for his role in 1MDB's scandals, has been helping with the look at Deutsche Bank, WSJ said.

"Deutsche Bank has cooperated fully with all regulatory and law enforcement agencies that have made inquiries relating to 1MDB," the company said.

It pointed to asset forfeiture documents filed by the Justice Department indicating 1MDB misled the bank in transactions.

"This is consistent with the bank's own findings in this matter," the firm said.

Probes into 1MDB have focused on the over US$6 billion it raised in 2012 and 2013. Goldman Sachs handled the deals, reaping almost US$600 million in fees. The bank has since portrayed Leissner as a rogue employee.

Still, the Justice Department expects to start negotiating with the New York-based firm soon to resolve a criminal probe of the bank, WSJ wrote.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2019, with the headline 'Deutsche Bank faces US probe over 1MDB dealings'. Print Edition | Subscribe