Hong Kong regulator bans former Goldman banker Leissner for life over 1MDB
04 Jul 2019

Hong Kong’s financial regulator has banned former Goldman Sachs (GS.N) banker Tim Leissner from re-entering the industry for life for his crimes linked to the multi-billion-dollar scandal at the Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.

The sanction is latest for Leissner who has already been barred from the banking sector in the United States and Singapore for his links to the scandal. Goldman itself is being probed by the U.S. Justice Department for its role as underwriter and arranger for $6.5 billion worth of 1MDB bonds.

Apart from Leissner, another former Goldman banker Roger Ng and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho have been charged in the United States for links to the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

An estimated $4.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB by high-level officials of the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2014, the U.S. Justice Department has alleged.

Leissner, a former partner at Goldman Sachs in Asia, pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million.

Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said it considered Leissner’s conduct demonstrated “a serious lack of honesty and integrity” and called into question his fitness and properness to be a licensed person.

A Goldman Sachs spokesman said Leissner deliberately hid certain activities from the bank and repeatedly violated its policies and procedures.

By Sumeet Chatterjee and Jennifer Hughes, Reuters, 3 July 2019

Read more at Reuters

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