Ex-Goldman Sachs (GS.N) partner Tim Leissner admitted in a U.S. Court that he took $60 million in kickbacks and lied to the bank about corrupt deals. He also forger divorce documents twice to get new wives.
Despite his past of deceit Leissner is the main witness that the prosecution is asking jurors to believe in the trial Roger Ng. Ng is a former colleague at Goldman and is accused of helping to loot Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign fund. The scheme lasted from 2009 through 2014.
Leissner pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiring to make money and to violate anti-bribery laws. He also agreed to cooperate with the prosecutors. Ng, 49, has pleaded not guilty and is currently on trial in Brooklyn federal court.
Leissner, who testified for more than a week, has spoken out about his high-flying lifestyle and how 1MDB deals made them a star. He also described the steps he took in order to stay away from being caught.
Leissner, 52 years old, stated that he hoped to “clear this section of my life.”
Leissner stated that “it’s not my proudest moment in life, but at that time I wanted more money even though I was well paid,”
These charges relate to $6.5 billion worth of bonds Goldman sold 1MDB in 2012 and 2013. Prosecutors claim that $4.5 billion was stolen by bankers, officials, and their associates in one of the most scandalous Wall Street events in history.
In 2020, Goldman agreed to pay $3 billion in fines and that its Malaysian subsidiary would plead guilty before a U.S. court. According to Goldman, the bank did not properly “scrutinize certain representations made by members of the deal team”.
Leissner claimed that he and Ng (Goldman’s top Malaysian banker) secretly liaised with conspirators and received kickbacks.
Marc Agnifilo is Ng’s lawyer and he claims that Leissner falsely implicates Ng in order to reduce his sentence. Prosecutors claim that Leissner’s claims are supported by other evidence.
Leissner claimed that he used the kickbacks to buy a $11.5 million 170-foot yacht, apartments and homes in London and New York as well as an investment in Inter Milan, an Italian soccer team.
He met Kimora Lee Simmons in 2013. She is an American model and was the ex-wife to Russell Simmons. He said that they set a date for their wedding before Leissner filed for divorce from another woman.
Leissner admitted that he was worried about being caught throughout the whole process. Leissner admitted that he was worried about the possibility of the opposition winning and investigating the 1MDB bond deal while he was preparing it months before the 2013 Malaysian presidential election.
Leissner stated that the ruling party won but that he was still nervous from negative press coverage about 1MDB. He was served with a subpoena by FBI agents in February 2016. He stated that he was looking for a green card to move to Los Angeles with his family and had hired a lawyer in order to cooperate.
He was however arrested in June 2018. He claimed he pleaded guilty in order to reduce his sentence because he knew it would endanger his chances of getting a green card. Her lawyers stated that he and Lee Simmons were estranged.
Leissner testified that she hoped “I don’t have” to go to jail.