US moves to seize $330m of alleged 1MDB assets held by UK law firm

US moves to seize $330m of alleged 1MDB assets held by UK law firm

  • Department of Justice says money in Clyde & Co’s account allegedly linked to Malaysian fraud scandal

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has moved to seize $330m (£256m) held in the bank account of a major London law firm which prosecutors allege is derived from the proceeds of one of the world’s largest financial frauds.

The DoJ has filed civil forfeiture proceedings against funds held by City firm Clyde & Co, which prosecutors said they have traced to an “international conspiracy” that allegedly laundered money stolen from the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.

In a 300-page complaint filed in a California court, specialist DoJ anti-money laundering prosecutors alleged that the $330m in a Clyde & Co escrow account is linked to a failed oil project in Venezuela financed by money misappropriated from 1MDB.

The 1MDB fund is at the heart of a sprawling corruption scandal that has shaken Malaysian politics in recent years and sparked multiple cross-border investigations.