US SEC: Najib got kickbacks from bonds raised for 1MDB
PETALING JAYA: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has named former premier Najib Razak as a recipient of kickbacks from bonds raised by former Goldman Sachs executive, Tim Leissner, for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Malaysian news portal Malaysiakini reported that the SEC said this in a "cease and desist order" for proceedings against Leissner, after he made a settlement offer for the charges against him.
The SEC said that Leissner had helped to raise US$6.5 billion (S$8.9 billion) for 1MDB.
"Leissner and others instead planned and executed a scheme to misappropriate more than US$2.7 billion and distribute the money as bribes and kickbacks to government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi including but not limited to Najib as well as to other participants in the scheme and their families, including Leissner," said the SEC.
The SEC said Leissner was especially aware that Najib would be benefitting from a 2012 bond raising exercise dubbed "Project Maximus".
"Leissner also knew at the time that Najib and government officials from Abu Dhabi and 1MDB officials would receive money from the proceeds of Project Maximus that passed through various shell companies beneficially owned and controlled by himself, fugitive businessman Jho Low and others."
Quoting the US Department of Justice, the portal said Najib received US$30milion under this phase and a further US$681 million during the Tanore phase in 2013.
The Tanore phase is also known as Project Catalyze, which is mentioned by the SEC but without reference to Najib. - THE STAR