Former Goldman Sachs Group executive Tim Leissner has settled charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday for alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. His settlement includes a permanent bar from the securities industry.
According to the SEC order, beginning in 2012, Leissner, as participating managing director of Goldman Sachs, used a third-party intermediary to bribe high-ranking government officials in Malaysia and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. These bribes enabled Goldman Sachs to obtain business from 1MDB, the Malaysian government’s sovereign wealth fund, including underwriting $6.5 billion in bond offerings. The order further finds Leissner personally received more than $43 million in illicit payments for his role in facilitating the scheme.
As part of his wrongdoing, Leissner concealed from other employees and Goldman Sachs’ compliance group that he was working with Jho Low, a Malaysian businessman-turned-fugitive. According to the SEC’s order, Goldman Sachs’ compliance group had previously refused to approve any business relations with Low.
In October, Low agreed to forfeit more than $700 million worth of assets that he and his family allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Leissner consented to the SEC’s order finding he violated the anti-bribery, internal accounting controls, and books-and-records provisions of the federal securities laws. The SEC’s order requires Leissner to pay disgorgement of $43.7 million, which will be offset by amounts paid pursuant to a forfeiture order as part of a resolution in a previously instituted parallel criminal action by the Justice Department.