Washington D.C.’s Wayang Tinggi, Part 2

The Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali was quick to hit out on US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) announcement about proceeding a civil action for “seeking the forfeiture and recovery of approximately USD540 million in assets”  purportedly in the name of 1MDB in the most peculiar investigation of crime by a law enforcement agency.

PRESS RELEASE

ATTORNEY GENERAL MALAYSIA 


US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FILING OF CIVIL ACTION

 

The Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia (AGC) takes note of the latest civil lawsuits by the United States Department of Justice (DoJ). This second action comes on the anniversary of the first, and appears to be a repeat of it. We would like to express frustration that yet again AGC was not informed or alerted by DoJ of this action.

 

We also note that there has been no evidence from any investigation conducted by any ‎law enforcement agencies in various jurisdictions that shows that money has been misappropriated from 1MDB; and that there have been no criminal charges against any individuals for misappropriation of funds from 1MDB.

 

1MDB is a Malaysian company and has been the subject of multiple investigations within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Auditor General and bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee. After review, we found that that no crime was committed. Presently there is still an ongoing investigation conducted by the Royal Malaysia Police concerning 1MDB.

 

We would like to express strong concerns at the insinuations that have been made against the Prime Minister of criminal wrongdoing. At no point in the civil claims is the Prime Minister named as a defendant or has been alleged to have committed any criminal wrong doing.

 

To date AGC has yet to receive any request from DoJ to obtain any information or evidence. However, we would welcome such a request in line with our commitment to international cooperation and the fight against money laundering.

 

As I have promised before, AGC will not hesitate to initiate proceedings against the perpetrators of criminal acts provided there is sufficient evidence to do so. Any wrongdoing will be punished and Malaysia will always uphold the rule of law.

 

TAN SRI DATO’ SRI HAJI MOHAMED APANDI BIN HAJI ALI,

ATTORNEY GENERAL MALAYSIA

16 JUNE 2017

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Sources within 1MDB confirmed none of US law enforcement authorities agents have ever taken any statement from anyone within the Malaysian strategic investment firm.

Nor from anyone from the Malaysian Government.

It is baffling for DoJ to investigate a complaint for purported crime of “Theft and money laundering of monies from 1MDB”, without actually conducting proper globally practiced and universally accepted methods for investigation of any crime.

It has been almost a year since former US Attorney General Loretta Lynch made her bombshell announcement dead serene during last summer, a few days after Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 1437H.

 DoJ statement:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, June 15, 2017

U.S. Seeks to Recover Approximately $540 Million Obtained From Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

The Justice Department announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of approximately $540 million in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. Combined with civil forfeiture complaints filed in July 2016, seeking more than $1 billion, and civil forfeiture complaints filed last week seeking approximately $100 million in assets, this case represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Assets now subject to forfeiture in this case total almost $1.7 billion.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco, Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown of the Central District of California, Assistant Director Stephen E. Richardson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Deputy Chief Don Fort of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

According to the complaints, from 2009 through 2015, more than $4.5 billion in funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates. 1MDB 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.

“The Criminal Division is steadfast in our efforts to protect the security, safety, and integrity of the American financial system from all manner of abuse, including by kleptocrats seeking to hide their ill-gotten or stolen wealth,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco.

“Today’s complaints reveal another chapter of this multi-year, multi-billion-dollar fraud scheme, bringing the total identified stolen proceeds to $4.5 billion. This money financed the lavish lifestyles of the alleged co-conspirators at the expense and detriment of the Malaysian people.

We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure the United States is not a safe haven for corrupt individuals and kleptocrats to hide their ill-gotten wealth or money, and that recovered assets be returned to the victims from which they were taken.”

“These cases involve billions of dollars that should have been used to help the people of Malaysia, but instead was used by a small number of individuals to fuel their astonishing greed,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brown.

“The misappropriation of 1MDB funds was accomplished with an extravagant web of lies and bogus transactions that were brought to light by the dedicated attorneys and law enforcement agents who continue to work on this matter. We simply will not allow the United States to be a place where corrupt individuals can expect to hide assets and lavishly spend money that should be used for the benefit of citizens of other nations.”

“Today’s filing serves as a reminder of the important role that the FBI plays in rooting out international corruption. When corrupt foreign officials launder funds through the United States in furtherance of their criminal activity, the FBI works tirelessly to help hold those officials accountable, and recover the misappropriated funds,” said Assistant Director Richardson.

“I applaud all my colleagues and our international partners who have worked to help recover an immense amount of funds taken from the Malaysian people, who are the victims of this abhorrent case of kleptocracy.”

“Today’s announcement is the result of untangling a global labyrinth of multi-layered financial transactions allegedly used to divert billions of dollars from the people of Malaysia and fund the co-conspirators’ lavish lifestyles,” said Deputy Chief Fort.

“The IRS is proud to partner with other law enforcement agencies and share its world-renowned financial investigative expertise in this complex financial investigation. It’s important for the world to see, that when people use the American financial system for corruption, the IRS will take notice.”

As alleged in the complaints, the members of the conspiracy – which included officials at 1MDB, their relatives and other associates – diverted more than $4.5 billion in 1MDB funds.  Using fraudulent documents and representations, the co-conspirators allegedly laundered the funds through a series of complex transactions and shell companies with bank accounts located in the U.S. and abroad.

These transactions allegedly served to conceal the origin, source and ownership of the funds, and ultimately passed through U.S. financial institutions to then be used to acquire and invest in assets located in the U.S. and overseas.

The complaints filed today allege that in 2014, the co-conspirators misappropriated approximately $850 million in 1MDB funds under the guise of repurchasing certain options that had been given in connection with a guarantee of 2012 bonds. As the complaints allege, 1MDB had borrowed a total of $1.225 billion from a syndicate of banks to fund the buy-back of the options.

The complaints allege that approximately $850 million was instead diverted to several offshore shell entities. From there, the complaints allege, the funds stolen in 2014, in addition to money stolen in prior years, were used, among other things, to purchase a 300 foot luxury yacht valued at over $260 million, certain movie rights, high-end properties, tens of millions of dollars of jewelry, and artwork.

A portion of the diverted loan proceeds were also allegedly used in an elaborate, Ponzi-like scheme to create the false appearance that an earlier 1MDB investment had been profitable.

As alleged in the earlier complaints, in 2009, 1MDB officials and their associates embezzled approximately $1 billion that was supposed to be invested to exploit energy concessions purportedly owned by a foreign partner. Instead, the funds were transferred through shell companies and were used to acquire a number of assets, as set forth in the complaints. The complaints also allege that the co-conspirators misappropriated close to $1.4 billion in funds raised through the bond offerings in 2012, and more than $1.2 billion following another bond offering in 2013.

The FBI’s International Corruption Squads in New York City and Los Angeles, and the IRS-CI are investigating the case. Deputy Chief Woo S. Lee and Trial Attorneys Kyle R. Freeny and Jonathan Baum of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Kucera and Christen Sproule of the Central District of California are prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs is providing substantial assistance.

The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, and often with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, to use those recovered asset to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office.

In 2015, the FBI formed International Corruption Squads across the country to address national and international implications of foreign corruption. Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the U.S. should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov(link sends e-mail) (link sends e-mail) orhttps://tips.fbi.gov/.

 

A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favor of the U.S.

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US DoJ is throwing the “Acting in the name of the Malaysian people” totally in vain. They did not seek any assistance from the Malaysian law enforcement agencies, which include the Attorney General who is an officer appointed by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong.

The Malaysian people is legally represented by the Government which was appointed to office by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong, after obtaining the majority control of the 13th Parliament four years ago.

So who are these “Malaysian people” if DoJ failed to consult and sought assistance for the legally instituted democratically elected Government ‘Of Malaysians, by Malaysians and for Malaysians’?

There are individuals named in the same announcement made by AG Lynch last July. However, at the civil courts in the process to forfeit the assets of Low Taek Jho, DoJ agents are facing a stand off as the estoppel made by his family.

The latest news is about US DoJ taking him to face criminal charges.

Fortune story:

Financier at the Center of Malaysia’s Huge Financial Scandal Faces U.S. Criminal Charges

Joseph Hincks

Mar 22, 2017

The Malaysian financier at the center of the country’s 1MDB scandal, which could turn out to be one of the largest cases of financial fraud in history, is set to face criminal charges from U.S. authorities, the Wall Street Journal reports citing an unnamed source.

Criminal charges against the financier Jho Low—who has a reputation for throwing expensive parties and hanging with Hollywood celebrities—would follow separate civil asset-seizure lawsuits filed by the U.S. Justice Department in July.

The civil suits seek more than $1 billion in allegedly stolen assets, including van Gogh and Monet paintings and U.S. real estate. The 35-year-old is accused of attempting to funnel billions of dollars from a Malaysian state fund called 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, and launder it through a series of international transactions.

People familiar with the U.S. investigation told the Journal that the Justice Department was also attempting to tack newly uncovered assets onto the civil claim, such as a 300-foot yacht.

Low, whose family is contesting the asset-seizure lawsuits, has previously described himself to journalists as a victim of Malaysian political infighting

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Even that story is not credible because quoted Wall Street Journal, who have over and over again used “An unnamed source” as a story reference throughout their skewed and even false reports on 1MDB, which include Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak.

Needless to say, DoJ’s second announcement supposedly to create a shock ripple is nothing but artillery shots firing blank shells. It is loud and smokey but totally ceremonial and no lethal value.

Then again, DoJ’s lack of proper investigation which include statements from those who are purported been robbed but actions already initiated is very much the manifestation of the typical ‘Cowboy’ attitude which the wild, wild west is infamous for.

Shoot first and some quite some more, and then only ask the questions.

It is very much the dramatisation to tickle the mind for the action fix which the American media commercially thrived over the past century and nothing more.

*Updated noon

Media statement, by the ‘aggrieved party’:

Media statement by 1Malaysia Development Berhad 
Issued on 16 June 2017

For immediate publication
US Department of Justice Lawsuits
1MDB notes the contents of a civil lawsuit filed by the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”) against certain assets.
1MDB highlights that it is not a party to the civil lawsuit nor has it been contacted by the DOJ in relation to this matter.
1MDB notes that the civil lawsuit does not contain any appendices with documentary proof or witness statements to support the allegations made by the DOJ.
As previously stated, 1MDB will fully cooperate with any foreign lawful authority, subject to international protocols governing such matters and the advice of the relevant domestic lawful authorities.
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Published in: on June 16, 2017 at 02:30  Comments (1)