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Sunday, September 27th, 2020

1MDB prosecutors said to eye ex-Goldman banker's money moves

by April 29, 2017 General

US prosecutors investigating Group’s role in raising almost $6 billion for Malaysia’s 1MDB investment fund are asking questions about money flowing through accounts linked to Tim Leissner, the lead banker behind the transactions, according to people familiar with the matter.

Officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department have been interviewing bankers familiar with 1Malaysia Development Bhd about Leissner’s network of relationships with politically connected Malaysians, said the people, who asked not to be named because the queries aren’t public.

In interviews as recent as last month, the people said, the US officials asked about the association between Leissner, who left in February 2016, and Low Taek Jho, who the Justice Department said in July was at the centre of a scheme that siphoned more than $3 billion dollars from 1MDB. US investigators are asking in particular whether money was sent from a Leissner-linked account to an entity controlled by someone tied to the Malaysian government, one of the people said. Leissner’s attorney, Marc Harris, declined to comment. An official who answered the phone at Low’s Hong Kong-based company Jynwel Capital said he wasn’t available.

It’s not the first time US officials have scrutinised personal transactions of Goldman’s lead banker for troubled 1MDB. US authorities said last year in court filings that several million dollars from 1MDB ended up in an account belonging to 1MDB’s top lawyer Jasmine Loo. She later transferred several thousand dollars to Leissner, people familiar with the matter have said. Attempts to reach Loo weren’t successful.

The US look into 1MDB money flows is part of a globe-spanning effort. Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and other countries are also investigating the roles banks and individuals may have played in plowing cash from the fund into luxury real estate, art, lavish parties and even movie productions.

and the Justice Department also declined to comment.

No official role

Investigators also asked about Leissner’s interactions with Roger Ng, a former Goldman colleague who worked on the 1MDB funding, the person said. Ng, a Malaysian national, was head of Goldman’s Southeast Asian sales and trading business at the time of his resignation in April 2014. Ng, who has not been publicly charged with any crimes, declined to comment when contacted by phone.