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Mahathir says nation cheated by Goldman

MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said bankers at Goldman Sachs Group Inc “cheated” the country in dealings with state fund 1MDB.

He added that US authorities have promised to help return the fees the Wall Street bank earned from the fund.

The US investment bank has been under scrutiny for its role in helping raise funds through bond offerings for 1Malaysia Development Bhd, which is the subject of corruption and money-laundering investigations in at least six countries.

“There is evidence that Goldman Sachs has done things that are wrong,” Mahathir said.

“Obviously we have been cheated through the compliance by Goldman Sachs people.”

A Goldman Sachs spokesman in Hong Kong declined to comment on Mahathir’s remarks.

The US Department of Justice has said about US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB, including some money that Goldman Sachs helped raise, by high-level officials of the fund and their associates from 2009 through 2014.

US prosecutors filed criminal charges against two former Goldman Sachs bankers earlier this month. One of them, Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money.