The Real Deal New York

Gary Cohn supported Goldman’s controversial dealings with 1MDB, book says

Bank allegedly pushed aside executives who were more skeptical of the fund
September 14, 2018 10:35AM

Gary Cohn, Jho Low, and Park Lane Hotel at 36 Central Park South (Credit: Getty Images)

Gary Cohn, the former president of Goldman Sachs and White House economic advisor, supported his company’s dealings with 1MDB, the controversial Malaysian state fund, according to a new book.

The book “Billion Dollar Whale” claims that Cohn backed the fund, which provided cover for people involved in the 1MDB dealings — and executives more skeptical of the deals were pushed to the side, according to Bloomberg. It also says Goldman’s internal committees meant to identify fraud did not do their due diligence on the deals.

Cohen left his role as chief economic advisor to President Trump earlier this year.

Goldman has faced years of scrutiny for the role it played raising $6.5 billion for 1MDB and for earning almost $600 million in fees for the bond issuance. The fund is now at the center of an international embezzlement and money laundering scandal.

Goldman has not faced any accusations of wrongdoing, but prosecutors in the U.S. are working on a possible deal with Tim Leissner, the former Goldman banker who led bond sales for 1MDB.

Financier Jho Low is allegedly the mastermind behind the 1MDB scandal, and Malaysia ordered his arrest earlier this year.  There was at least $4.5 billion taken from the 1MDB state investment fund between 2009 and 2015.

The scandal has encompassed Steve Witkoff’s Park Lane Hotel, as Low had invested in the hotel and in a $30 million penthouse at the Time Warner Center.[Bloomberg] – Eddie Small