Lawyer: Probe ex-Astro CEO for money laundering over US$10m London property

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The AGC could invoke the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act to forfeit the property if what Leissner said was true.

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) must probe and commence money laundering proceedings against a former local media CEO, who allegedly had an affair with Tim Leissner and blackmailed him into buying her a US$10 million home in London, a lawyer said.

Rafique Rashid Ali said the AGC could invoke the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act to forfeit the property from the accused if what Leissner said was true.

“An offence has been committed as she had allegedly blackmailed Leissner into buying the property with funds sourced from 1MDB,” he told FMT.

Bernama

Rafique said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must probe and submit the investigation papers to the AGC without any delay.

Lawyer Syed Iskandar Syed Jaafar al-Mahdzar said, alternatively, 1MDB, as the equitable owner of the property, should file a “tracing action” to recover the asset.

“1MDB has to file for a mandatory injunction to get an order from the High Court here to transfer the property to the government-linked company,” he said.

At the Brooklyn federal court in New York, Leissner, Goldman Sach’s former Southeast Asia chairman, told the jury on Tuesday that he had bought her the house in 2013 after she threatened to expose his involvement in 1MDB.

He claimed the woman was very upset that he was ending their relationship to be with his future wife Kimora Lee Simmons, a former supermodel.

“If I didn’t buy her a house, she would tell the authorities about my involvement in the 1MDB scandal. She was threatening to expose me. At the time, in 2013, I was very fearful of that,” he said in the trial of his former subordinate Roger Ng, who is a Malaysian.

Ng, the former head of investment banking for Goldman Sachs in Malaysia, is charged with conspiring with Leissner to launder money and violate US anti-bribery laws.

US prosecutors say, between 2009 and 2014, Goldman Sachs received  about US$600 million in fees for helping 1MDB sell bonds worth US$6.5 billion, but around US$4.5 billion of that was diverted.

Leissner pleaded guilty in 2018 but has yet to be sentenced. He is cooperating with federal prosecutors in the case against Ng in hopes of getting a reduced sentence. – FMT