Banking News

Star witness in opposition to ex-Goldman banker says wives used to disguise 1MDB kickback

[NEW YORK] Two Goldman Sachs bankers concocted a scheme involving their wives to hide kickbacks they obtained for serving to to loot Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, one of many bankers testified on Thursday (Feb 24) on the corruption trial of the opposite, Roger Ng.

Tim Leissner, who had been Ng’s supervisor at Goldman earlier than turning into the star authorities witness in opposition to him, stated he obtained kickback funds from a Malaysian middleman, Jho Low, for serving to embezzle funds Goldman raised for 1MDB by means of 3 bond gross sales.

Leissner testified after pleading responsible to cash laundering and corruption expenses, whereas Ng has pleaded not responsible to conspiring to commit cash laundering and violating an anti-corruption legislation.

The fees stem from one of many greatest monetary scandals in historical past, during which US prosecutors say US$4.5 billion of the US$6.5 billion Goldman raised for 1MDB was diverted to authorities officers bankers and their associates by means of bribes and kickbacks.

Leissner, 52, stated that after the primary bond sale in 2012, he obtained US$35 million from Low, and transferred half of it to Ng.

Each then mentioned crafting a “cowl story” to elucidate the funds so the banks processing the funds wouldn’t develop suspicious, Leissner stated.

“His spouse’s household had beforehand made an funding in my spouse Judy’s enterprise in China, and this was return of that funding,” Leissner informed the jury in Brooklyn federal court docket, referring to his former spouse Judy Chan.

Leissner stated the story was unfaithful, and that he didn’t know if Ng, 49, relayed it to his financial institution.

The assertion may very well be problematic for Ng.

His lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, has denied the cost was a kickback, and stated the lads’s wives had a respectable enterprise collectively.

Agnifilo has stated he plans to name Ng’s spouse, Hwee Bin Lim, to testify in her husband’s defence.

He could query Leissner concerning the cost throughout cross-examination, which won’t happen till subsequent week as a result of the US Division of Justice delayed disclosing about 15,500 paperwork associated to Leissner to the protection.

Agnifilo signalled in his opening assertion that he’ll problem Leissner’s credibility by asking about his infidelity.

Leissner testified on Thursday that in 2013, whereas separated from Chan, he solid divorce papers so as to marry Kimora Lee Simmons, the American mannequin and former spouse of US music producer Russell Simmons.

Goldman in 2020 paid a virtually US$3 billion nice and organized for its Malaysian unit to plead responsible in US court docket.

US prosecutors indicted Low in 2018, however he has not been arrested by American or Malaysian authorities. Malaysia has stated Low is in China, which Beijing denies. REUTERS

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