Goldman Sachs has not had discussions about settling with the US Department of Justice over its role in the Malaysian corruption scandal known as 1MDB, its chief executive and chairman said on Monday.
Prosecutors investigating the bank have recommended to senior justice department officials that any settlement include a parent-level guilty plea, the Financial Times reported last week.
David Solomon declined to comment on the report in an interview with Bloomberg TV on Monday and said: “We haven’t even started discussions with the justice department about any of that”.
The internal recommendation is being considered by senior officials at the justice department, the FT previously reported. A guilty plea at the parent-level is the toughest plea US prosecutors can try to impose on a company.
Last week, a Goldman spokesperson told the FT: “We do not believe that such a charge would be warranted by the facts of the case or the law”.
Unlike many of its peers, Goldman avoided any criminal settlements in the aftermath of the financial crisis, though it paid billions of dollars in civil cases with federal authorities.
In 2012 and 2013, the bank raised $6.5bn for 1MDB, the Malaysian investment fund, much of which the US has alleged was ultimately stolen in a scheme masterminded by Jho Low, a Malaysian financier who has denied wrongdoing.
Two former Goldman bankers have also been charged in connection to the case, with one, Tim Leissner, pleading guilty last year.
“We are very focused on getting this resolved in the best way that we can,” said Mr Solomon on Monday.
A justice department spokesman declined to comment.
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