July 20, 2016 / 5:03 PM / 3 years ago

U.S. announces $1 billion civil action to recover funds taken from Malaysian fund

U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announces the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than $1 billion in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund in Washington July 20, 2016. REUTERS/James Lawler Duggan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a civil action on Wednesday seeking the recovery of more than $1 billion worth of assets linked to a conspiracy to launder funds taken from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

“The Department of Justice will not allow the American financial system to be used as a conduit for corruption,” Lynch told a news conference in announcing the civil suit, described as the largest single action every brought under the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

“Corrupt officials around the world should make no mistake that we will be relentless in our efforts to deny them the proceeds of their crimes,” Lynch said.

(Refiles to correct typo in first paragraph.)

Reporting by Julia Edwards; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh

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