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Singapore central bank bans former Goldman Sachs director Tim Leissner for life

Singapore central bank bans former Goldman Sachs director Tim Leissner for life

Former Goldman Sachs director Tim Leissner (right) and his wife Kimora Lee Simmons at a Golden Globes after party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan 12, 2014. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced on Wednesday (Dec 19) that it has issued a lifetime prohibition order against former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, after he admitted to criminal charges brought against him by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).

The charges relate to an investigation into troubled Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Leissner was charged by the DOJ on Nov 1 and pleaded guilty to charges which included conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The ban by MAS is an upgrade of the central bank's 10-year prohibition order against Leissner issued last March. It was imposed after Leissner was found to have issued an unauthorised reference letter on behalf of Goldman Sachs (Asia) to a financial institution based in Luxembourg where he had made false statements without the firm’s knowledge, said MAS. 

He had also admitted to the US court to participating in a conspiracy to obtain business from 1MDB for Goldman Sachs through bribes and kickbacks to government officials in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia, and by embezzling funds from 1MDB for himself and others.

READ: Goldman Sachs fires back after Malaysia charges bank in 1MDB probe

READ: Goldman Sachs bankers 'cheated' Malaysia over 1MDB: PM Mahathir

"The US DOJ’s charges and Mr Leissner’s guilty plea have provided further evidence of Mr Leissner’s involvement in funds flows related to 1MDB, which were previously not available to MAS," said the central bank. 

"After careful consideration of Mr Leissner’s admission to participation in the conspiracy, as well as US DOJ’s criminal actions against him, MAS has decided to vary the PO (prohibition order) against him under section 101C of the SFA (Securities and Futures Act)."

The order, among other things, prevents him from performing any regulated activity under SFA. He is also prohibited from acting as a director of, or becoming a substantial shareholder or a capital markets services licensee.

MAS said it will consider new evidence related to the flow of 1MDB funds and take further action where appropriate. 

"The latest actions against Mr Leissner arose from the close cooperation and continuing investigations by law enforcement and regulatory authorities in the US, Singapore and other countries," it added.

Source: CNA/ga(gs)


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