On November 1, 2018, an indictment was unsealed charging two individuals with conspiring to violate the FCPA and to launder billions of dollars embezzled from Malaysia’s investment development fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”), between approximately 2009 and 2014. The first individual, known as “Jho Low,” is a Malaysian financier, while the other, known as “Roger Ng,” is a former managing director at a New York-based financial institution (the “Financial Institution”). On the same day that the indictment was unsealed, DOJ unsealed the plea agreement of a third individual, Tim Leissner—also a former managing director of the Financial Institution—who pleaded guilty to related charges.
As described in court documents, the three individuals conspired to bribe foreign government officials to approve three bond offerings by 1MDB in 2012 and 2013, which the Financial Institution underwrote. In total, the offerings generated over $600 million in proceeds for the Financial Institution, of which Ng and Leissner received a portion. Defendants also embezzled over $2.7 billion of proceeds from the bond offerings, which were supposed to go to 1MDB, and paid bribes with the funds, laundered them, and retained a portion for themselves. Leissner awaits sentencing, Ng was arrested in Malaysia, and Low remains at large.
United States v. Low, No. 18-cr-538 (E.D.N.Y.)
United States v. Leissner, No. 18-cr-439 (E.D.N.Y.)