US regulator bans two ex-Goldman execs over 1MDB scandal

Tim Leissner is one of the two former Goldman Sachs bankers who have received lifetime bans from the US Federal Reserve. — AFP pic
Tim Leissner is one of the two former Goldman Sachs bankers who have received lifetime bans from the US Federal Reserve. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 — The US Federal Reserve announced lifetime bans for two former Goldman Sachs bankers over their roles in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) corruption scandal.

According to The New York Times, the two are Tim Leissner and Malaysian Roger Ng, the latter of whom is awaiting extradition to the US to face criminal charges there.

The Fed said Leissner did not contest the lifetime ban from working in the country’s financial industry.

Leissner was charged in the US on November 1 last year and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act as well as agreeing to forfeit US$43.7 million (RM178.7 million).

Ng was charged in the US with participating in money laundering and bribery, and is currently detained in Malaysia where he will first be put on trial for offences here.

Goldman Sachs is accused of aiding fugitive financier Low Taek Jho to defraud 1MDB during the issuance of over US$6 billion in bonds.

The Malaysian government is seeking to recover the “above average” fees the US bank charged for the bond issues in addition to other losses.

Goldman Sachs is also facing billions in potential fines in the US over the episode.

It held back the bonuses of top executives over the matter, including payments to former chief executive Lloyd Blankfein who has been linked to early negotiations with Low.

The 1MDB case remains in active investigation in Malaysia and in various other international jurisdictions.

Malaysian authorities have since charged former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with money laundering, corruption and abuse over the state investment firm.

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