- 1MDB is one of the biggest financial scandals of all-time.
- It has now emerged that the US Justice Department is allegedly probing a $100,000 donation to Trump's Victory PAC in 2017 may have come from funds linked to disgraced Malaysian financier Jho Low.
- Similarly, Tim Leissner, a top regional executive of Goldman Sachs, was recently banned from the banking industry by the Federal Reserve for his role in the scandal.
- We broke down all the major events for you that stretched all the way back to 2009.
The crazy story of 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has branched out to the 2020 US presidential election with the US Justice Department allegedly looking into the source of funds donated to a Trump PAC.
The DOJ is allegedly probing a $100,000 donation to President Trump's Victory PAC in 2017, which may have come from funds linked to disgraced Malaysian financier Jho Low, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Low, believed to be currently on the run somewhere in China, is the Malaysian financier believed to be at the heart of the 1MDB scandal. 1MDB started out as a government plan to fund infrastructure projects in Malaysia but turned into an alleged swindle to tune of more than $3 billion.
The donation was made in December 2017 by Larry Davis, co-owner of LNS Capital, as part of a campaign to re-elect Trump in 2020. The DOJ is trying to establish whether $1.5 million transferred to LNS Capital seven months earlier by Low were used to finance the donation, the WSJ said.
It's one of the greatest scandals in financial history. It brought down Malaysia's prime minister, the prime suspect is still on the run, and Goldman Sachs might be on the hook for crushing fines.
US and Malaysian authorities, as well as those in the UK, Australia and Singapore, among others, are continuing to figure out just what happened, and who is responsible. Malaysia has filed criminal charges for Goldman Sachs and a few ex-bank and fund employees, while lawsuits are still being filed over billions in missing cash. Goldman Sachs says it is cooperating with authorities and will contest the charges.
The 1MDB scandal also managed to embroil actor Leonardo DiCaprio, model Miranda Kerr, and even the estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat got dragged into the mess, too.
This is the history of 1MDB and the characters that made it:
1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, was founded in 2009 just four months after Najib Razak became Prime Minister of Malaysia. Ensnared in the scandal, he later lost reelection and was charged with abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in relation to SRC International, a former 1MDB unit. Najib pleaded not guilty charges and has consistently denied any wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB.
The fund was originally set up to finance infrastructure and other economy-linked deals in Malaysia. But the fund veered into lavish spending, producing films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and buying casinos, champagne and “Dustheads,” a painting by US artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.