Deutsche Bank 1MDB Probe Dropped by U.S. Justice Department

The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped a probe into Deutsche Bank AG’s role in the 1MDB scandal, removing a potential legal headache as Malaysia steps up its demands for compensation.

The DOJ sent a letter to notify the German bank that the investigation had been closed, people familiar with the matter said, without specifying the date of the correspondence. The people asked not to be identified discussing the private information.

Representatives for Deutsche Bank declined to comment. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

The move by the DOJ provides relief as Deutsche Bank was named on Monday as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by 1MDB seeking $1.1 billion in payments from the German lender, Bloomberg reported earlier. Deutsche Bank said it hasn’t been served any papers on 1MDB and that it isn’t aware of any basis for a legitimate claim.

The DOJ opened a probe in 2019 assessing whether Deutsche Bank’s role in helping 1MDB raise $1.2 billion five years earlier might have violated foreign-corruption or anti-money-laundering laws, Bloomberg has reported. At the time the investigation was opened, Deutsche Bank pointed to asset-forfeiture documents previously filed by the Justice Department indicating 1MDB misled Deutsche Bank during transactions.

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