MoF in settlement talks with KPMG over 1MDB scandal

PETALING JAYA: The Finance Ministry (MoF) is negotiating a settlement with audit firm KPMG in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), (pic) according to sources.

“The government has started negotiations on the settlement with KPMG. The process is ongoing, ” said a source.

This came after the MoF announced that it has struck a settlement with another audit firm, Deloitte PLT, which has agreed to pay US$80mil (RM324mil) to the government.

KPMG was involved with 1MDB after Ernst & Young (EY) was terminated as the auditor of 1MDB’s accounts in 2010. KPMG took over in September 2010 and signed off on 1MDB’s financial year 2010 (FY10), FY11 and FY12 accounts.

However, the audit firm refused to sign off on the accounts for FY13 and it was replaced by Deloitte until 2016.

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said the settlement with Deloitte will resolve all legal claims related to their fiduciary duty on the auditing of accounts of 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd from 2011 to 2014.

In addition, last week, the government announced a settlement of RM2.83bil with AMMB Holdings Bhd on all outstanding claims and actions in relation to the AmBank Group’s involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

This was on top of the government’s global settlement with Goldman Sachs including a cash payment of US$2.5bil (RM10.6bil) and guarantee of full recovery value of at least US$1.4bil (RM5.9bil) in assets traceable to proceeds diverted from three 1MDB-linked bonds which it had helped arrange.

The settlement with Goldman, Deloitte and AMMB came as the government tries to recover as much of the losses it suffered in the scandal linked to 1MDB.

In the same statement on Wednesday, Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz said: “This marks another success in the Malaysian government’s continuing recovery efforts against parties involved in 1MDB, SRC and its related entities.

“The government is determined to ensure that appropriate actions are taken against all individuals or entities involved, directly or indirectly, in the global 1MDB scheme.”

The ministry said the RM324mil, which Deloitte has agreed to pay, was the “largest 1MDB-related settlement by an audit firm in South-East Asia.”

“The successful out-of-court settlement with Deloitte will expedite the payment of monies, to fulfill 1MDB and SRC’s outstanding obligations, which would otherwise be delayed by potentially protracted and costly court battles, ” MoF said.

In 2019, the Securities Commission fined Deloitte RM2.2mil for allegedly failing to report irregularities as the auditor of companies linked to 1MDB.

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