US Dept of Justice investigates Deutsche Bank over 1MDB
The US Department of Justice opened an investigation into whether Deutsche Bank, Germany’s embattled biggest lender, violated foreign financial laws in its work for 1MDB, American media reported Wednesday. The department is looking into whether Deutsche Bank broke foreign corruption or anti-money laundering laws through its work for 1MDB, which included helping the Malaysian fund raise $1.2 billion in 2014 as concern’s about its management and financials had begun to circulate, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Billions of dollars were looted from the investment vehicle between 2009 and 2014 and spent on everything from yachts to expensive artwork, in a fraud allegedly involving disgraced Malaysian ex-premier Najib Razak and his cronies. The investigation into Deutsche Bank has been helped by former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, who pled guilty to his involvement in the 1MDB scandal, the Journal reported.
Prosecutors are looking into the role of Leissner’s former colleague Tan Boon-Kee, who also worked as Deutsche Bank’s Asia Pacific head of banking for financial institution clients, the newspaper said. Tan left Deutsche Bank last year after it was discovered she had been in contact with Jho Low, the Malaysian financier who allegedly played a central role in the fraud, according to the Journal. Deutsche Bank has “cooperated fully” with the investigation, it said in a statement, and claims it was misled by 1MDB.