Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday as part of a settlement deal with the Department of Justice to admit wrongdoing in the years-long global 1MDB scandal. The DOJ asserts that Goldman’s Malaysian subsidiary helped cronies of the country’s ex-prime minister divert $6.5 billion from the corrupt state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad to their personal bank accounts. The company will recoup tens of millions of dollars from its top executives, including CEO David Solomon, in the wake of the settlement. The DOJ settlement includes at least $2.2 billion in penalties and $600 million in retracted fees.
DOJ prosecutors accused two Goldman bankers of embezzling millions from 1MDB, saying the bank ignored evidence of fraud in pursuit of fees. The high-profile international scandal broke in 2015, roping in then-minister Najib Razak, Malaysian businessman Jho Low, who spent billions on U.S. real estate, art and gambling, as well as The Wolf of Wall Street producer Riza Azis, who is Razak’s stepson.