‘I feel horrible ex-staff broke law in 1MDB case’
> Goldman Sachs CEO says it is ‘very distressing’ to see two former employees went so blatantly around company policies
SINGAPORE: Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon said yesterday he felt “horrible” that two former employees “blatantly broke the law” in their dealings with Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
US prosecutors filed criminal charges against the two former Goldman bankers and a Malaysian financier linked to the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the fund.
An investigation into where 1MDB’s money went became the largest carried out by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy programme, and the scandal was a major reason why Malaysian voters rejected Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, their prime minister for nearly a decade, in an election earlier this year.
“It is obviously very distressing to see two former Goldman Sachs employees went so blatantly around our policies and so blatantly broke the law,” Solomon said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore.
“I feel horrible about the fact that people who worked at Goldman Sachs, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a partner or it’s an entry level employee, would go around our policies and break the law,” Solomon said.
US prosecutors announced last week that Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to forfeit US$43.7 million (RM182.2 million).
Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia and is expected to be extradited.
Reuters was not immediately able to contact Ng’s lawyer yesterday. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment after US prosecutors unveiled the charges last Thursday.
Goldman has also placed its former co-head of Asia investment banking, Andrea Vella, on leave over his role in the firm’s involvement with the case, pending a review of
allegations, according to a person familiar with the decision.
The Wall Street bank said in a securities filing on Friday that it may also face penalties from dealings with 1MDB. – Reuters