SHAREHOLDER ALERT: The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS)

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(ShareholderAlert.com) — Shareholder Alert, a free shareholder news & information service announces that class actions have commenced on behalf of shareholders of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS). If you suffered a loss you have until the lead plaintiff deadline to request that the court appoint you as lead plaintiff.  Shareholders interested in serving as lead plaintiff have until the deadlines listed to petition the court and further details about the cases can be found below.

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The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE: GS)
Class Period: February 28, 2014 – December 17, 2018
Lead Plaintiff Deadline: February 19, 2019

The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and indexed under 18-cv-12084, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities, other than Defendants and their affiliates, who purchased or otherwise, acquired Goldman Sachs securities between February 28, 2014, and December 17, 2018, both dates inclusive (the “Class Period”), seeking to recover damages caused by Defendants’ violations of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top officials.

Goldman Sachs was founded in 1869 and is headquartered in New York, New York. The Company operates as an investment banking, securities, and investment management company worldwide, serving corporations, financial institutions, governments, and high-net-worth individuals.

According to 2016 data compiled by Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs has “worked on $18.8 billion of Malaysian mergers and acquisitions over the past five years, making it the top foreign adviser with a 20.5[%] market share.” Goldman Sachs’s business in Malaysia included, inter alia, raising funds for 1Malaysia Development Bhd. (“1MDB”), a Malaysian state-owned investment fund set up in 2009, four months after Najib Razak (“Razak”) became Prime Minister of Malaysia. 1MDB was initially established to finance infrastructure and economic deals in Malaysia.

In 2012, officials from 1MDB met with Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong to discuss a bond deal. Goldman Sachs subsequently raised $6.5 billion for 1MDB, earning approximately $600 million in fees.

Since early 2015, 1MDB has been the subject of international criminal and regulatory investigations for suspected fraud and money laundering after missing $11 billion in payments owed to banks and bondholders.

On June 18, 2015, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Fund Controversy Threatens Malaysia’s Leader,” detailing how 1MDB indirectly funded Razak’s 2013 election campaign. A probe into 1MDB subsequently followed.

On July 2, 2015, The Wall Street Journal published another article, entitled “Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Malaysian Leader Najib’s Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe,” reporting how Malaysian investigators traced nearly $700 million in deposits to what they believed to be Razak’s personal bank accounts.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, high-level 1MDB officials and their associates misappropriated an estimated $4.5 billion from 1MDB between 2009 and 2014. Implicated in the 1MDB scandal were two former Goldman Sachs managing directors— Tim Leissner (“Leissner”) and Ng Chong Hwa, also known as Roger Ng (“Ng”).

Leissner was Chairman of South East Asia and Vice Chairman of the Investment Banking Division in Asia Ex-Japan (i.e., Asia, excluding Japan) for Goldman Sachs. Ng was a former Goldman Sachs banker, managing director, and deputy to Leissner. Ng most recently was the head of South-East Asian sales in Goldman Sachs’s fixed-income, currencies, and commodities unit.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading statements regarding the Company’s business, operational and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Goldman Sachs participated in a fraud and money-laundering scheme in collusion with 1MDB; (ii) the foregoing conduct, when revealed, would foreseeably subject Goldman Sachs to heightened regulatory investigation and enforcement; and (iii) as a result, Goldman Sachs’s public statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On March 7, 2016, Bloomberg News published an article entitled “Ex-Goldman Banker to Malaysia Fund Said Subpoenaed in U.S. Probe,” reporting that the U.S. Justice Department had subpoenaed Leissner in late February in connection with a probe linked to 1MDB. Goldman Sachs has since been the subject of investigations by the U.S. Justice Department regarding the multibillion-dollar fraud and money-laundering scheme involving 1MDB, for which Goldman Sachs was the primary bond underwriter. Following this news, Goldman Sachs’s stock price fell $3.75 per share, or 2.41%, to close at $151.60 on March 8, 2016.

On November 1, 2018, U.S. federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York (“E.D.N.Y.”) unsealed indictments against Leissner and Ng related to the 1MDB probe, explicitly describing them as “agents acting within the scope of their employment on behalf of” the Company “with the intent, at least in part, to benefit” Goldman Sachs. That same day, the United States Attorney’s Office for the E.D.N.Y. announced that Leissner’s guilty plea was unsealed for “a two-count criminal information charging Leissner with conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act] by both paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials and circumventing the internal accounting controls of the Financial Institution while he was employed by it.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office also stated that, “[a]ccording to court filings, Leissner has been ordered to forfeit $43,700,000 as a result of his crimes.”

On November 8, 2018, a report by Bloomberg News detailed the personal involvement of Goldman Sachs’s then-Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”), Lloyd Blankfein, in a meeting to establish ties with Malaysia and its new sovereign wealth fund that was referenced in the court documents unsealed the prior week. In a November 8, 2018 article entitled “Goldman’s Blankfein Said to Have Attended 2009 1MDB Meeting,” Bloomberg News noted that “Blankfein was the unidentified high-ranking Goldman Sachs executive referenced in U.S. court documents who attended a 2009 meeting with the former Malaysian prime minister,” and that “[t]he meeting was arranged with the help of men who are now tied to the subsequent plundering of the 1MDB fund[.]”

On this news, Goldman Sachs’s stock price fell by $9.00, or nearly 4%, closing at $222.65 on November 9, 2018.

On November 12, 2018, Malaysian government officials denounced Goldman Sachs’s role in the 1MDB scandal. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad stated that “[t]here is evidence that Goldman Sachs has done things that are wrong” and “[o]bviously we have been cheated through the compliance by Goldman Sachs people.” Meanwhile, the country’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that Malaysia would seek a “full refund” of the approximately $600 million in fees that the Company earned in connection with 1MDB’s $6.5 billion bond deal.

Following this news, Goldman Sachs’s stock price fell $16.60 per share, or nearly 7.5%, to close at $206.05 on November 12, 2018.

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