Investigators Studying Former 1MDB Official’s Payment To Ex-Goldman Banker Tim Leissner

LONDON – International investigators are examining funds sent by a former official of 1MDB, to a former senior Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The report said Jasmine Loo, a former official of 1MDB and business associate of Jho Low, is said to have sent several hundred thousand dollars to Tim Leissner, who was Goldman’s Southeast Asia chairman until earlier this year.

The transaction occurred after Loo left 1MDB, though it isn’t clear when her exit occurred, the report said.

Last year, Bank Negara Malaysia put out an alert asking for information on Loo and another official of 1MDB.

The alert, which included their photographs, said the bank was “looking for the following individuals to assist investigations”.

Jho Low had played a central role in the setting up of 1MDB.

It said the circumstances of Loo’s and Leissner’s arrangement were not clear but indicated that Leissner’s dealings with people linked to 1MDB extended beyond his role as an adviser.

The report quoted an unnamed person familiar with Loo’s arrangement with Leissner as saying they invested together in a startup company and the deal was structured so cash for the investment went to Leissner from Loo. It was unclear what the company did or where it was based.

Leissner never reported any investments with Loo to Goldman, a disclosure the Wall Street firm would have required of its employees and their outside interests, one person familiar with the matter told the WSJ.

The WSJ report said Loo couldn’t be reached for comment and that lawyers for Low didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Leissner, who was present in Asia when 1MDB was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to help develop the economy, worked closely with the fund on several lucrative deals that netted Goldman Sachs hundreds of millions of dollars.

The report said Leissner resigned from Goldman in January after the Wall Street firm confronted him with news that it had found an unauthorised reference letter he had written to another financial institution in June 2015 on Jho Low’s behalf.

Transactions relating to 1MDB are under investigation in seven countries for alleged money-laundering and misappropriations. Both Najib and 1MDB have denied any wrongdoing.

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