November 30, 2018 / 9:55 PM / 16 days ago

Former Justice Dept worker pleads guilty over lying about lobbying related to 1MDB scandal

WASHINGTON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - A former Justice Department employee on Friday pleaded guilty to conspiring to deceive U.S. banks about millions of dollars in foreign lobbying funds, after he facilitated financing a lobbying campaign related to the U.S. investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

The Justice Department said in a statement that the alleged architect of the 1MDB scheme had hired George Higginbotham, who was then a senior congressional affairs specialist at the Justice Department, to help transfer tens of millions of dollars from foreign bank accounts to the United States. Higginbotham said he had conspired to make false statements to banks about the source and purpose of the funds and also deceived banks with fake loan and consulting documents. (Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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