US to Recover More Than $49 Million in Assets Related to the 1MBD Embezzlement and Money Laundering Scandal
The DOJ entered into a $49 million settlement this week in one of the civil forfeiture cases related to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund scandal. The 1MDB fund was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people.
According to the civil forfeiture complaints, from 2009 through 2015, more than $4.5 billion in funds belonging to 1MDB were allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates, including the subject of this week’s settlement, Khadem al-Qubaisi, through a criminal conspiracy involving international money laundering and bribery. The DOJ alleged al-Qubaisi misappropriated millions from 1MBD and bought several high-end real estate properties in Beverly Hills and New York City.
In response to the settlement, United States Attorney Nick Hanna stated, “The cases resolved today continue to demonstrate our commitment to protecting the integrity of American financial institutions and ensuring that corrupt players cannot use our nation to conceal stolen riches.” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division added, “this settlement…sends a clear signal that the Department of Justice is committed to tracing, seizing, and forfeiting criminal proceeds that are laundered through the U.S. financial system.”
The DOJ has recovered a staggering $1.1 billion in assets related to this scheme – the largest ever civil forfeiture by the DOJ.
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