Alibaba (NYSE: BABA) president Michael Evans is among 17 current and former Goldman Sachs directors facing criminal charges over their alleged role in the 1MDB case, according to Bloomberg. The news comes as Alibaba pursues ongoing expansion in Malaysia as part of its so-called E-WTP or electronic world trading initiative.
Evans, the international face of Alibaba, was among a group of individuals who served as directors at three Goldman units that the Malaysian authorities have accused of misleading investors when arranging deals for 1MDB. He joined Alibaba in 2015 and was instrumental in orchestrating the company’s push into Southeast Asia through the acquisition of a stake in Lazada — its largest overseas beach-head.
“Mike Evans was a member of senior management at Goldman Sachs prior to joining Alibaba Group in 2015,” the Chinese company said in a statement to Bloomberg. “We are aware of the news and will continue to monitor the situation.”
Malaysia will seek custodial sentences and criminal fines against the individuals, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said in a statement Friday. The penalties sought reflect “the severity of the scheme to defraud and fraudulent misappropriation of billions in bond proceeds, the lengthy period over which the offences were planned and executed,” as well as the breadth of Goldman units and officers involved in arranging the 1MDB bonds.