Gary Cohn has donated $10 million to charity instead of returning it to Goldman Sachs, despite the bank's attempt to claw back money as a result of the 1MDB bribery scandal

  • Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs COO, has reportedly given $10 million to charity rather than returning it to the bank as requested. 
  • Cohn volunteered weeks ago to make a charitable contribution to Goldman Sachs-sponsored organizations, a representative told The Financial Times. 
  • The bank is attempting to claw back money from executives as a result of the 1MDB bribery scandal.
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Gary Cohn, former Goldman Sachs COO, has reportedly given $10 million to charity rather than returning it to the bank, as was requested. 

"Mr. Cohn is a team player, and as a good corporate citizen, he volunteered many weeks ago to make a significant charitable contribution to Goldman Sachs-sponsored organizations and looks forward to doing so," said a Cohn representative, according to The Financial Times. 

The move by Cohn is the latest in a months-long scuffle between Goldman and Cohn, who refused to participate in the bank's clawing back of $174 million from executives as the result of the its 1MDB bribery scandal.

The US justice department in October said Goldman had agreed to pay more than $2.9 billion in fines after violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing executives in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia. The bank had paid more than $1 billion in bribes for underwriting contracts for 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, according to the justice department.

On the same day as the justice department announcement, the bank said it was reducing some executive pay and clawing back compensation from some others, including retired staff, as a result of the fines. 

"This action is entirely appropriate under the circumstances.  The Board's announcement is an important reminder that we are all responsible for each other's actions, including our collective failures," Goldman CEO David Soloman said in a statement at the time. 

But Cohn, who in 2016 left the bank to advise President Donald Trump on economic policy, said he wouldn't participate in returning pay. His Goldman exit package was reportedly about $100 million. He left the Trump administration in 2018. 

"As Goldman Sachs' October statement on the 1MDB matter said, none of the past or current members of senior management were involved in any wrongdoing," Cohn's rep told The New York Post on Thursday. 

Cohn's decision to donate $10 million, rather than return it, seemed to put the matter to rest. 

A Goldman Sachs spokesperson told Bloomberg News: "We are pleased that Gary has chosen to support charitable organizations that are doing important work and put this matter behind us." 

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