May 6, 2020

US settles civil forfeiture cases from 1MDB money laundering case

The US Department of Justice has announced a $49 million settlement of all of its civil forfeiture actions against assets acquired by Khadem Abdulla al-Qubaisi.  According to the DOJ, between 2009 and 2015, over $4.5 billion were misappropriated by officials managing or dealing with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad investment development fund, including al-Qubaisi, who allegedly used his position as managing director of the International Petroleum Investment Company to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB.  The funds that are the subject of the current settlement include the proceeds of the sale of California and New York real estate allegedly acquired by al-Qubaisi with monies traceable to misappropriated funds from 1MDB.

The terms of the settlement require the Atlantic Property Trust, which oversees the assets at issue, to forfeit all assets subject to pending forfeiture complaints, and requires the cooperation of the trustee, Al-Qubaisi’s wife.  Altogether, investigations in the US and abroad have led to the return of more than $1 billion to the people of Malaysia, for whose benefit 1MDB was intended.

DOJ press release | Stipulation and Request | Consent Judgment