US Investigates Missing Money in Malaysia
U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch says billions of dollars were stolen from an investment fund run by the government of Malaysia.
The thieves may be high-ranking officials in the Malaysian government and their family members.
The money generated by the fund was supposed to be used for economic development projects and to help raise the quality of life in Malaysia. But instead, it was used to buy artwork by famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso. More money was used to purchase expensive homes and a jet, and to finance Hollywood movies.
The fund is called 1MDB. It opened in 2009.
Early on, billions of dollars moved out of the fund and into the account of a co-founder of oil company PetroSaudi International. The money was supposed to fund a project between Malaysia and the oil company. But the money went back into the account of a Malaysian government official known as "Malaysian Official One."
Lynch would not identify the person known as "Malaysian Official One." But observers believe it may be Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Over the next five years, more than $3.5 billion were transferred from the fund into private bank accounts in Switzerland.
The U.S. Department of Justice is working to recover at least $1 billion in assets that were purchased with money stolen from the fund.
Those assets include the artwork and some of the profits from the 2013 movie "The Wolf of Wall Street." The case, filed in California, is in fact called "U.S. v. Wolf of Wall Street."
Najib's stepson and another Malaysian investor started the production company that financed the film. The money likely came from the 1MDB fund.
Lynch said, "Corrupt officials treated this public trust as a personal bank account."
The Department of Justice is involved through its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Lynch says the U.S. is involved because money passed through American banks. U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs also raised money for the fund.
The complaint says banks in Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the U.S. were used in the fraud. Other governments are investigating the 1MDB fund, including Switzerland and Singapore.
Members of the Malaysian government's opposition will probably ask for Najib to resign. But some of those same party members say Najib's position as prime minister is probably safe.
Charles Santiago is a member of the opposition Democratic Action Party. He says some organizations in Malaysia will ask for an investigation based on the U.S. allegations. But, he said, "This will not go far."
I'm Dan Friedell.
1.moved out 搬走；移走
We moved out to the country for the children's sake.
2.economic development 经济发展
Foreign investments help our economic development.
3.bank account 银行账号
He paid the money into his bank account.
4.prime minister 总理；首相
His style of public speaking is imitative of the prime minister.
1.Members of the Malaysian government's opposition will probably ask for Najib to resign.
ask for 要求；寻找
He had the audacity to ask for an increase in salary.
He ask for leave of absence to visit his mother in hospital.
2.But instead, it was used to buy artwork by famous artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.
such as 例如；诸如
She was involved in many New Age activities such as yoga and healing.
He bought a lot of fruit such as apples and peaches.
美国司法部长洛雷塔·林奇（Loretta Lynch）称，马来西亚政府管理的投资基金中有数十亿美元被贪污 。
这笔资金原用于促进经济开发以及提高马来西亚民众的生活质量 。但却被贪官用来购买梵高、莫奈及毕加索等著名艺术家的画作 。甚至还利用此巨款购买豪宅和喷气式飞机，以及投资好莱坞电影 。
早前，数十亿美元被人从基金转出，接着转入了Petrosaudi国际石油公司的联合创始人账户 。这些资金原计划用于投资马来西亚和石油公司签订的项目 。但是这笔资金又流入到政府官员“马来西亚一号官员”(Malaysian Official One)的账户里 。
林奇尚未确定这位“马来西亚一号官员”的真实身份 。但是观察家认为其可能是马来西亚总理纳吉布·拉扎克(Najib Razak) 。
这些资产包括艺术品，以及2013年拍摄的影片《华尔街之狼》所得部分票房利润 。该起在加利福尼亚州提起的诉讼案实为“美国诉华尔街之狼一案” 。
投资该电影的制作公司是纳吉布的继子和另一位马来西亚投资人联合开办的 。这些资金可能来源于“一马发展公司” 。
美国司法部通过“高层腐败资产追缴计划”（Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative）介入马来西亚贪腐案 。林奇称，美国介入是因为这笔赃款通过美国银行进行转移 。美国高盛投资公司也为该公司筹集过资金 。
起诉书中称，这起欺诈案波及新加坡、瑞士、卢森堡和美国的银行 。瑞士和新加坡等其它国家的政府也正在调查“一马发展公司” 。
马来西亚政府反对派可能会要求纳吉布辞职 。但是一些同党派官员表示，纳吉布仍可稳坐首相之位 。
查尔斯·圣地亚哥（Charles Santiago）是反对党民主行动党一员 。他表示，马来西亚一些组织要求根据美国的指控进行调查 。但是他说，“这不太可行 。”