Najib Razak, the former prime minister of Malaysia, is reportedly instructing a number of high-profile U.S. lawyers as investigations into his alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal intensify, including the law firm helmed by former U.S. Attorney-General John Ashcroft.

The Star newspaper in Malaysia has reported that Najib is listed by Ashcroft Law Firm as a client under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). A report in the Wall Street Journal last year said that Najib hired the firm back in 2016.  

Meanwhile, news website The Malaysian Insight  has said that Najib is instructing hired David Boies, chairman of the law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, and Matthew Schwartz, a former prosecutor who is now a partner at the firm. Boies has been involved in a number of high-profile cases in the U.S., including United States v. Microsoft Corp., Bush v. Gore and Hollingsworth v. Perry. 

Additionally, local reports say that members of Najib's Malaysian legal team have recently quit, including lawyers M Puravalen and Yusof Zainal Abideen.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed forfeiture complaints in 2016 and 2017 seeking to recover over $1.7 billion in assets traceable to funds allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB, said Reuters

These complaints alleged that more than $4.5 billion was diverted from 1MDB and laundered through a web of shell companies and bank accounts located in the United States and elsewhere. Najib allegedly received some $681 million of 1MDB money.


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