Goldman Sachs to pay Singapore govt US$122m for firm's role in 1MDB scandal, gets conditional warning for corruption

The payment is part of a global resolution led by the United States’ Department of Justice, said a joint statement by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday.― Reuters pic
The payment is part of a global resolution led by the United States’ Department of Justice, said a joint statement by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore yesterday.― Reuters pic

SINGAPORE, Oct 23 — Goldman Sachs Singapore will pay US$122 million (S$165 million, RM505.5 million) to the Singapore government for its role in bond offerings related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The payment is part of a global resolution led by the United States’ Department of Justice, said a joint statement by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) yesterday.

Apart from the payment, the CAD has served Goldman Sachs Singapore a 36-month conditional warning in lieu of prosecution for three counts of corruption. The MAS has also ordered the firm to appoint an independent external party to conduct a review of its remedial measures.

The statement said that the CAD investigated Goldman Sachs Singapore and two of its former managing directors, Tim Leissner and Ng Chong Hwa, in relation to three bond offerings underwritten by Goldman Sachs International for the subsidiaries of 1MDB.

Leissner was working for Goldman Sachs Asia, which was significantly involved in the conduct of the three 1MDB bond offerings. He was also instrumental in procuring the bond deals from 1MDB.

In August 2018, Leissner pleaded guilty in the United States District Court to one count for conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and one count for conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Leissner disclosed that Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had informed him and Ng that some of the proceeds from the 1MDB bonds would be paid as kickbacks and bribes to certain Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.

Leissner admitted to retaining some of these diverted funds for his personal use.

Following Leissner’s guilty plea, the MAS had on Dec 19, 2018 increased the 10-year prohibition order initially issued against him to a lifetime order.

Goldman Sachs Singapore will also pay a sum of US$61 million to the Malaysian authorities.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and its affiliates will pay approximately US$2.3 billion to the US authorities.

Separately, the MAS has issued lifetime prohibition orders against Kevin Michael Swampillai, a former representative and head of the wealth management services department of BSI Bank Limited, Singapore.

From 2012 to 2013, Swampillai and his then subordinate, Yeo Jiawei, had assisted 1MDB to restructure several of its joint venture interests. In the course of doing so, both men channelled a portion of “secret profits” to an entity beneficially owned by Swampillai, without BSI Singapore’s knowledge and authorisation.

In total, Swampillai received about US$5 million in secret profits. — TODAY

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