The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has settled foreign corruption charges against former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive Tim Leissner for his involvement in Malaysia’s multibillion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal, the agency said on Monday.
The SEC has permanently barred Leissner from the securities industry for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by allegedly receiving more than US$43 million in illicit payments for helping to facilitate a bribery scheme involving high-ranking government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.
As part of the settlement, Leissner consented to the SEC’s order that he violated antibribery, internal accounting controls, and books and records provisions of the federal securities laws.
The settlement also requires Leissner to give up ill-gotten gains of US$43.7 million.
That amount will be offset by money paid as part of an action by the US Department of Justice, which in November 2018 filed criminal charges against Leissner and fellow former Goldman banker Roger Ng. Leissner pleaded guilty to those charges. Ng pleaded not guilty, and his case is pending in federal court in Brooklyn.
Goldman has been investigated by regulators in at least 14 countries, including the United States, Malaysia and Singapore, over its involvement in the scandal. According to the Justice Department, the bank earned US$600 million in fees for its work with 1MDB. Leissner, Ng and others received large bonuses in connection with that revenue.
The bank has consistently tried to distance itself from the scandal, saying Leissner and Ng worked to conceal their criminal activities from the bank’s management.
Both bankers have already been sanctioned by US Federal Reserve for their roles in the scandal.