Fund Lawyer Who Worked With Goldman Holds 1MDB Clues, U.S. Says
(Bloomberg) – The U.S. description of the Malaysian official matches that of Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister. The U.S. doesn’t accuse the official of doing anything wrong.
She was the general counsel for Malaysia’s 1MDB investment fund. She was also 1MDB’s liaison to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the global bank that helped it raise $6 billion.
After one of the big sales led by Goldman Sachs, $5 million of the cash raised for 1MDB traveled through shell companies and ended up in her Swiss bank account, the U.S. said in complaints filed last week.
The U.S. government refers to the official only as “1MDB Officer 3.” According to people familiar with the matter, she is Jasmine Loo Ai Swan — a Malaysian who studied law in the U.K. and worked for a Malaysian developer and an oil firm before joining 1MDB.
The U.S. doesn’t accuse Loo or anyone else of crimes in its complaints, which instead seek to seize assets the government says were “unlawfully misappropriated” from the fund. Loo hasn’t responded to requests for comment placed over several months in Malaysia and at an apartment she owns in New York’s Flatiron district.
While the amount is modest compared with others in the sweeping multiyear scheme, the alleged $5 million transfer is notable. The recipient was not only a lawyer and the fund’s point person with Goldman Sachs, but is also the only person at 1MDB whom the Justice Department singled out as having received a payment.
That money transfer, the U.S. government says, was one of dozens of illicit payments in a scheme controlled by a Malaysian man that ultimately drained as much as $3.5 billion from the fund, formally known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad.