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July 4, 2019

Hong Kong regulator bans ex-Goldman Sachs banker for life over 1MDB case

The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) in Hong Kong has banned former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner from the financial services sector for life in connection with the Malaysia state fund scandal 1MDB.

“The SFC considers that Leissner’s conduct demonstrates a serious lack of honesty and integrity and called into question his fitness and properness to be a licensed person,” the watchdog said.

Leissner served as the chairman for Southeast Asia at Goldman Sachs.

He was responsible for arranging three bond transactions for 1MDB on behalf of the bank in 2012 and 2013. The transactions are said to be worth $6.5bn.

At the end of last year, Leissner along with former Goldman Sachs managing director Ng Chong Hwa was charged by the US and Malaysian authorities over the 1MDB scandal.

Leissner pleaded guilty to money laundering and flouting the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

He admitted to bribing government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi in order to win business for Goldman Sachs from 1MDB.

He also confessed to having laundered the proceeds.

Moreover, Leissner admitted to deliberately circumventing Goldman Sachs’ controls.

These breaches occurred between 2009 and 2014.

Leissner has been directed to pay $43.7m in penalty for the misconduct.

Goldman Sachs itself is under the scanner for its role in the 1MDB scandal.

Earlier this year, Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company halted new business dealings with Goldman Sachs over the scandal.

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