KINIGUIDE | Two years after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed civil forfeiture suits to recover assets and properties linked to the 1MDB scandal, the first criminal charges were finally made on Thursday.
As per its usual practice, the DOJ anonymised the names of individuals and entities who are not essential to the particular charge being brought against an accused.
By studying the history of the 1MDB scandal and comparing it against allegations made in the charge sheet, it is nevertheless possible to identify the anonymous individuals and entities.
Here is a quick rundown of who they might be:
Low Taek Jho, Ng Chong Hwa, and Tim Leissner
The financiers - Jho Low, Roger Ng, and Tim Leissner - are referred as anonymous co-conspirators in each other’s charge sheets.
In the Low & Ng charge sheet, Leissner is referred as “Co-Conspirator #1”. In the Leissner charge sheet, Low is referred as “Co-Conspirator #1” while Ng is referred as “Co-Conspirator #2”.
This can be established by simply comparing how the trio are described in the two charge sheets.
The trio is alleged to have used Low’s relationships to obtain and retain business for a US financial institution (likely to be Leissner’s former employer Goldman Sachs Group Inc) through the promise and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes.
This includes ensuring that 1MDB awards Goldman Sachs with a role in its bond issuances.
Leissner has pleaded guilty, while Ng had been arrested in Malaysia and would be extradited to the US to face charges. Low is still at large and claimed that he is innocent.
The DOJ has reminded that the charges against Ng and Low are allegations, and they are presumed innocent until and unless they are proven guilty...