Ex-Goldman banker banned in Singapore for links to 1MDB now barred from US securities industry

Mr Leissner and his wife, model Kimora Lee Simmons, at a Golden Globes party in 2014. After the 1MDB scandal broke, Goldman found that he allegedly violated company policies.
Mr Tim Leissner and his wife, model Kimora Lee Simmons, at a Golden Globes party in 2014. Mr Leissner was suspended by Goldman over his role in 1MDB and his work on an Indonesian mining deal, and left the bank last year.PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

SINGAPORE - Mr Tim Leissner, a former senior Goldman Sachs banker based in Singapore, has been barred from the US securities industry because he failed to cooperate with an investigation of alleged money laundering connected with Malaysian staate investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Earlier in March, the Monetary Authority of Singapore in its 1MDB-probe issued a 10-year prohibition order against Leissner, saying that he had made false statements on behalf of his bank without its knowledge or consent.

On Tuesday (Oct 3), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) in the US said that Mr Leissner, the former South-east Asia chairman at Goldman, was barred from associating with any members of Finra, following his failure to respond to requests for documents and information related to his departure from Goldman in early 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Mr Leissner was responsible for managing the relationship with 1MDB, which engaged the US bank to arrange three bond issues from 2012 to 2013. Goldman raised US$6.5 billion for 1MDB and earned nearly US$600 million in fees.

Mr Leissner was suspended by Goldman over his role in 1MDB and his work on an Indonesian mining deal, and left the bank last year.

He had produced an unauthorised letter vouching for Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, the central figure in the US Department of Justice's probes into billions of dollars allegedly siphoned off 1MDB.

Mr Leissner, in a letter released by Finra on Tuesday, said that he agreed to the ban under a settlement with the regulator under which he neither admitted nor denied the findings. Mr Leissner said under the agreement, Finra will bring no future actions against him "alleging violations based on the same findings".