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U.S. Justice Dept. staff seek Goldman guilty plea in 1MDB settlement: FT

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Via Reuters Finance

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs Headquarters building is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., December 19, 2018. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

(Reuters) – A settlement with Goldman Sachs Group Inc over its role in the 1MDB corruption scandal should include a guilty plea at the parent company level, staff at the U.S. Department of Justice have recommended, according to a Financial Times report on Wednesday.

The internal recommendation by prosecutors is now being considered by senior officials at the Justice Department, the FT said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Goldman’s shares fell 1.5 percent following the report.

The U.S. DOJ did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

U.S prosecutors last year charged two former Goldman bankers over the theft of billions of dollars from Malaysian state-owned investment fund 1MDB. Tim Leissner, a former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Goldman Sachs spokesman Jake Siewert said in statement on Wednesday: “We do not believe that such a charge would be warranted by the facts of the case or the law, particularly because senior management was unaware of the criminal activity by Mr. Leissner and his associate who took extraordinary efforts to hide their part in the illegal scheme from management, compliance, and legal functions at the firm.”

Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bernadette Baum

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