July 22, 2016
What’s a lawyer to do if he or she suspects that a client is using them to help shuffle illicit funds? That’s the question posed this week by the series of civil complaints filed by the Justice Department seeking the seizure of a staggering $1 billion in assets tied to Malaysian economic development fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB.
U.S. lawyers aren’t ethically obligated to trace the source of money being used by clients to fund deals and other projects. But legal ethics experts say attorneys should know generally where client funds come from and look out for red flags to avoid serving as an intermediary for dirty money.