WASHINGTON: Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng were banned from the industry by the US Federal Reserve for their role in helping divert billions of dollars from the Malaysian state fund 1MDB.
Leissner and Ng coordinated bond offerings that allowed funds to be stolen from 1MDB, the Fed said in a Tuesday statement. Some of the money was used to bribe government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, and criminals also used proceeds to pay for lavish lifestyles, according to regulator.
Leissner, who agreed to the Fed’s permanent ban, was fined US$1.42mil, according to the statement. He has already pleaded guilty to charges brought by the US Justice Department, including conspiring to launder money.
Ng, Leissner’s deputy at Goldman Sachs, was indicted on similar charges in October. Last month, Malaysia said it will extradite Ng to the US after he has completed legal proceedings in local courts.
A lawyer for Leissner declined to comment, while an attorney who has represented Ng didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. “Given the Department of Justice’s charges, this development is hardly surprising,” said Goldman Sachs spokesman Michael DuVally.
The Fed has ramped up an investigation into how Goldman Sachs bankers dodged the firm’s internal controls to raise billions for 1MDB that later went missing, Bloomberg News reported in November, citing people familiar with the matter.
The Fed accused Leissner of participating in a scheme with Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho and others to divert money from “several” 1MDB transactions, including three bond offerings underwritten by Goldman Sachs in 2012 and 2013, according to an order dated March 11. — Bloomberg
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