Malaysia recovered $13m of 1MDB ‘blackmail’ gains from ex-lover of Goldman Sachs banker: Report

Datuk Rohana Rozhan had surrendered the cash and assets to the government last year. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

PETALING JAYA – The former girlfriend of disgraced Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, Datuk Rohana Rozhan, has returned US$10 million (S$13.3 million) in cash and assets linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, the Malaysian media reported on Friday.

The cash and assets were handed to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

An unnamed source familiar with the case said the former Astro Malaysia chief executive had surrendered the cash and assets to the government in 2022.

“She returned all the money and assets (involved) to the MACC, which then handed it to the government,” the source told the Utusan Malaysia newspaper.

“With that, MACC’s investigations concerning Rohana have been completed. At this point, there is nothing more needed from her.”

However, the source could not provide a detailed breakdown of the funds and assets returned, or the procedure involved.

On Thursday, Minister for Law and Institutional Reform Azalina Othman said in a parliamentary written reply that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has no knowledge of whether Ms Rohana had returned the US$10 million in assets she gained from Leissner.

Datuk Azalina was responding to a question from an MP on whether Ms Rohana had returned the funds and how much of the 1MDB-linked assets had been returned.

The fallout of the scandal involving the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund has been playing out in courts in the United States and Malaysia since former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was charged in 2018 and later found guilty of graft.

Leissner pleaded guilty in 2018 to stealing millions from the fund and paying bribes to get business for his former employer Goldman Sachs.

In February 2022, Leissner told a US court that Ms Rohana, with whom he had an affair, had blackmailed him into buying her a US$10 million property in London.

He told the jury in the trial that their relationship had lasted from 2003 to 2013, and he ended the relationship to marry US model Kimora Lee Simmons.

He said he bought Ms Rohana the London property after she threatened to expose his involvement with 1MDB.

“She was very upset that I was ending our relationship to be with my future wife, with Kimora,” Leissner testified in 2022.

In April 2022, an MACC source told Malaysian daily The Star that Ms Rohana had agreed, in principle, to return the US$10 million she received from Leissner.

Leissner, a former partner with Goldman Sachs in Asia, pleaded guilty in 2018 to a conspiracy to launder money and became the US prosecution’s star witness against his former colleague Roger Ng.

Following that, the MACC began investigating Ms Rohana, who released a statement saying she was ready to assist the authorities in their investigations. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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