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Malaysian 1MDB is suing PetroSaudi CEO White & Case

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A man walks past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the fund’s flagship Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpur, March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has filed a lawsuit against a top PetroSaudi International executive, demanding the return of $1.83 billion invested in a joint venture, state news agency Bernama reported on Thursday.

In 2009, the fund embarked on what would ultimately become a failed joint venture with PetroSaudi to develop oil fields.

In a lawsuit filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court on May 7, 1MDB alleged that PetroSaudi Chief Investment Officer Patrick Mahony helped several individuals, including former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and fugitive financier Jho Low, to obtain his funds to darken.

1MDB also named British law firm White & Case LLP as a defendant in the lawsuit, claiming it acted at Mahony’s direction to draft purchase and loan agreements on behalf of PetroSaudi to defraud 1MDB, Bernama reported.

Reuters could not reach Mahony for comment. White & Case did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The sovereign wealth fund wants Mahony and White & Case to repay the $1.83 billion, in addition to other damages.

Lim Chee Wee Partnership, the Malaysian law firm representing 1MDB, confirmed the filing to Reuters.

Malaysian and US investigators estimate $4.5 billion was siphoned off, opens a new tab of 1MDB after its founding in 2009, with Najib Razak, Goldman Sachs (GS.N), new tab staff and senior officials elsewhere concerned.

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