Former Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein was at key 1MDB meeting
Reports reveal identity of ‘high-ranking executive’ cited by Justice Department in connection with bribery scandal
After the US Department of Justice disclosure last week that a “high-ranking executive” at Goldman Sachs was present at a meeting in 2009 with a financier charged in the 1MDB bribery scandal, the identity has now been revealed.
Bloomberg and the Financial Times reported on Thursday that the individual was former Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, citing multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The investment bank claims that it was unaware of the involvement of several of its own bankers in deals to raise more than US$6 billion of debt for the 1Malaysia Development Berhad state investment fund. Two former managing directors for the bank have been charged by the Justice Department in connection with the scandal.
The financier who attended the meeting in 2009, Jho Low, is facing bribery and money-laundering charges but has not yet been apprehended by authorities.
Justice Department filings in the indictment of one of the Goldman bankers arrested, Roger Ng, suggested negligence on the part of Goldman for fostering a culture more focused on making deals than on “proper operation of its compliance functions,” according to the FT reporting.