Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission announced Wednesday that it has banned Tim Leissner, a former participating managing director at Goldman Sachs (Asia), from re-entering the industry for life in connection with his crimes relating to 1MDB, the Malaysian government’s sovereign wealth fund.
In November 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed a criminal information and guilty plea by Leissner and an indictment against Ng Chong Hwa, a former managing director of the firm, and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho. Leissner pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging him with conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’s anti-bribery and internal accounting controls provisions.
Leissner admitted that, between 2009 and 2014, he conspired with others to obtain and retain business from 1MDB for Goldman Sachs through the promise and payment of bribes and kickbacks to government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, embezzle funds from 1MDB for himself and others, and launder the bribes and kickbacks as well as other embezzled funds from 1MDB.
He also admitted to “knowingly and willfully” circumventing Goldman Sachs’ internal FCPA and accounting controls, in part by repeatedly lying to control personnel and internal committees that reviewed these offerings. In the United States, Leissner was ordered to forfeit $43.7 million for his crimes.
The SFC said Leissner’s conduct “demonstrates a serious lack of honesty and integrity and called into question his fitness and properness to be a licensed person.”