In the indictment unsealed by a federal court Thursday, prosecutors accuse former Goldman Sachs banker Ng Chong Hwa and financier Low Taek Jho - known as "Jho Low" - with conspiring to launder money embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berha - known as 1MDB - Malaysia's investment development fund, as well as conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The former bankers, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, were named Thursday by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, according to The New York Times. Mr. Ng was arrested on Thursday in Malaysia, authorities said. Mr.
"We served the warrant of arrest that was put out on him".
"He did not call me, but he called an officer of mine last week", Tun Daim Zainuddin, who chairs the country's Council of Eminent Persons, was quoted by broadcaster Astro Awani as saying in an interview on Wednesday.
"Mr. Low simply asks that the public keep an open mind regarding this case until all of the evidence comes to light, which he believes will vindicate him", Haggerty said. It has seized 240 million Singapore dollars ($180 million) of property and cash and says about half of that belonged to Low and his immediate family. It was not clear if Ng had a lawyer.
The criminal charges are the first to be brought by U.S. authorities over the vast, long-running scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). About $700 million landed in Najib's bank account, though he denies any wrongdoing.
Goldman Sachs has said it is fully cooperating with the investigation and that it had no knowledge of how the money from the fund was being used. "Low held no formal position at 1MDB, nor was he ever employed by Goldman Sachs, or the Governments of Malaysia or Abu Dhabi", Low's spokesman said. The unidentified co-conspirator agreed with Mr. Leissner not to tell anyone in Goldman's compliance department about the bribes, according to court documents. Other funds were used for the personal benefit of defendants, including purchases of luxury USA real estate and art.
Low, Ng, Leissner, and others also conspired to bribe government officials in Malaysia, including at 1MDB - a state-owned and controlled fund meant to fund economic development projects in the country - and Abu Dhabi to keep lucrative deals to themselves, federal prosecutors said. The new Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has moved quickly to investigate the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the investment fund, which was created under Mr. Najib.
Najib and his former treasury chief were charged last week with criminal breach of trust involving 6.64 billion ringgit ($1.6 billion), charges that came on top of 32 earlier counts of corruption, breach of trust and money laundering that Najib faces in connection with the 1MDB scandal.
Najib has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and has consistently denied wrongdoing.