A lifetime ban has been imposed on former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, who has made headlines for his role in the corruption scandal involving Malaysia’s state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had initially issued a 10-year Prohibition Order (PO) on Leissner in March 2017. Today it said the PO has been extended to a lifetime ban after Mr Leissner admitted to charges brought against him by the United States Department of Justice.
Under the Prohibition Order, Leissner is not allowed to perform any regulated activity under the Securities and Futures Act, such as dealing in securities, advising on corporate finance and managing funds.
He is also prohibited from taking part, directly or indirectly, in the management of any capital markets services firm in Singapore.
On November 1, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). He also admitted to paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials to obtain and retain 1MDB business for Goldman Sachs.
Leissner also embezzled funds from 1MDB for himself and others, and laundered them through financial systems in the US and other countries.
Besides banning him for life, MAS has also prohibited him from acting as a director or becoming a substantial shareholder of a capital markets firm in Singapore.
After starting 1MDB investigations in 2015, MAS has been investigating the conduct and involvement of relevant individuals, including Leissner. MAS said it issued a 10-year PO against Leissner based on limited information it had at that time.
The central bank could not interview him as he was not in Singapore during investigations.
Yesterday, Malaysia’s Attorney-General announced that it had filed criminal charges against investment bank Goldman Sachs over the alleged theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB.
Malaysia will seek jail terms as well as billions of dollars in fines from Goldman Sachs and four other individuals who allegedly diverted about US$2.7 billion (RM11.3 billion) from bond issues they arranged for 1MDB.
This is the first time Goldman Sachs, which has consistently denied wrongdoing, has faced criminal charges in the 1MDB scandal.
Leissner was among those who were charged.