Archive for June 24th, 2016

Goldman Sachs, a ‘Nama letter’ and the links to a $6bn fraud probe

Simon Rowe
Irish Independent

When a Wall Street star left under a cloud, the ‘smoking gun’ was a letter destined for our bad bank

A senior ex-Goldman Sachs banker who quit the Wall Street firm after being investigated over a falsified assurance letter – which, it is believed, he had sent to a European bank to assist a Malaysian tycoon’s bid to purchase property from Nama – has become embroiled in a $6bn global embezzlement probe.

Tim Leissner, who had close ties to the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB and was considered Goldman Sach’s point man in Singapore dealing with the fund, was interviewed on January 19 this year in relation to “inaccurate and unauthorised statements” made by him in a June 2015 reference letter.

According to filings with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the US securities industry’s self-regulating body, the letter was written without Goldman Sach’s knowledge or approval.

Sources close to the case said Leissner’s letter had included details about the finances of his client, who is believed to be well-known Malaysian tycoon Jho Low, while overstating the extent to which Goldman Sachs had done due diligence on him.

The letter, which vouched for Low and his finances to a financial institution in Europe, was to be used to help Low reach a deal to buy real estate from the National Asset Management Agency, it is believed. Read the rest of this entry »


BSI Appealing Swiss Regulator Actions Against It Over 1MDB

by John Letzing
Wall Street Journal
June 23, 2016

BSI says Finma actions are “unlawful” and “disproportionate”

ZURICH—BSI SA, a Swiss bank embroiled in the legal controversy surrounding Malaysian state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said on Thursday that it is appealing “flawed” actions taken against it by Switzerland’s financial regulator.

The Swiss regulator, Finma, issued a sternly worded statement in May, saying that BSI had committed “serious” breaches of money-laundering regulations in its dealings with the Malaysian fund, 1MDB, and had executed a number of large transactions for the fund “despite clearly suspicious indications.” Finma ordered BSI to pay 95 million Swiss francs ($99 million) in profits tied to its business with 1MDB to Switzerland’s public coffers.

Finma also said it was starting enforcement proceedings against two unidentified former managers at the Lugano-based bank.

On Thursday, BSI said Finma’s communication about actions taken against the bank “has severely harmed the reputation of the bank and its employees.” BSI added that it “challenges Finma’s assessment of the facts, and holds that the measures [Finma] ordered are unlawful and disproportionate.”

BSI said it has lodged its appeal with the Swiss Federal Administrative Court. A BSI spokesman declined to comment further on what remedies the bank is seeking.

A Finma spokesman said that its decisions can be challenged and are subject to judicial review, and declined to comment further. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments