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Tim Leissner settles FCPA charges with SEC

The former chairman of Goldman Sachs in Southeast Asia settled civil FCPA charges with the SEC Monday for his role in the looting of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

The SEC charged Tim Leissner, 50, with violating the anti-bribery, internal accounting controls, and books and records provisions of the FCPA.

He agreed to a permanent ban from the securities industry and to disgorge $43.7 million.

The SEC said the disgorgement will be offset by amounts Leissner paid under a $43.7 million forfeiture order that was part of a plea deal he made last year with the DOJ.

He pleaded guilty in November 2018 to a two-count criminal information filed in federal court in New York. The DOJ charged him with conspiring to launder money and violate the FCPA.

He’s still waiting for final sentencing in the criminal case. He faces up to 25 years in prison.

In a related settlement this year with the Federal Reserve, Leissner paid a civil penalty of $1.425 million. The SEC Monday didn’t impose any further civil penalty.

He bribed “various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials” and circumvented Goldman’s internal accounting controls, the DOJ said.

The SEC said Monday that “Leissner personally received more than $43 million in illicit payments for his role in facilitating the bribe scheme.”

He resigned from Goldman Sachs in February 2016.

Goldman Sachs raised around $6.5 billion for 1MDB. The DOJ said Malaysian officials looted around $4.5 billion from the fund.

In SEC filings, Goldman Sachs said it has “received subpoenas and requests for documents and information from various governmental and regulatory bodies” about 1MDB.

Goldman said it is cooperating with the DOJ and the other investigations.

The SEC settled with Leissner Monday through an internal administrative order and didn’t go to court.

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