Goldman Sachs in talks to admit guilt, pay $2 bln to settle 1MDB probe: WSJ

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is in talks with the U.S. government to pay a $2 billion fine and admit guilt to resolve a criminal investigation into its role in a Malaysian corruption scandal, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The bank and U.S. officials have discussed a deal in which a Goldman subsidiary in Asia would plead guilty to violating U.S. bribery laws, people familiar with the matter told the Journal.

The discussions also involve Goldman installing an independent monitor to oversee and recommend changes to its compliance procedures, the Journal reported.

“We continue to cooperate with ongoing regulatory investigations. It would be irresponsible to speculate on an outcome,” said Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Maeve DuVally.

The government of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak set up the 1MDB fund in 2009, and the U.S. Justice Department estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level fund officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014.

Goldman has been investigated by regulators in at least 14 countries, including the United States, Malaysia, Singapore and others, for its leadership what it did and did not know about the transactions.

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