Ex-Goldman Sachs banker testifies money laundering scandal made him a ‘hero’
A former Goldman Sachs partner testified Wednesday that he and a colleague currently on trial were treated as “heroes” at the bank after they brought in billions as a result of a money laundering scandal.
During the criminal trial of Roger Ng, who previously led Goldman Sachs’s investment banking division in Malaysia, prosecutors said he received millions in kickbacks for his part in embezzling funds from the nation’s 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund, according to Reuters.
Tim Leissner, who led the bank’s Southeast Asia operation, pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2018. He then agreed to help the government in their investigation and is now a star witness in Ng’s trial, Reuters reported.
The men brought the state fund to the bank, resulting in $6.5 billion in bond sales in addition to $600 million in fees. As a result, they “instantaneously made us heroes,” Leissner said in Brooklyn federal court.
Leissner also testified that he worked alongside Ng and Chinese Malaysian financier Jho Low as well as others to embezzle funds the bank raised for 1MDB, bribe officials and pocket some of the money for themselves, Reuters added.
“The bribes and kickbacks made the transactions possible,” Leissner said.
Meanwhile, Marc Agnifilo, Ng’s lawyer, argued that his client did not participate in the scheme, which he said was run by Leissner and Low, the news service noted.
Low, along with Ng, was indicted in the U.S. in 2018 for his part in the scheme, though he has not been arrested by U.S. or Malaysian authorities.