Ex-Goldman Sachs CEO met with key 1MDB figure: FT

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

Former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein

"I knew that concealing Jho Low's involvement as an intermediary was contrary to Goldman Sachs' stated internal policies and procedures", he said.

Leissner also admitted that more than US$200 million in proceeds from 1MDB bonds flowed into accounts controlled by him and a relative.

According to the report, the three-count criminal indictment at a federal court in NY pertains to Low and Ng conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB and conspiring to violate the FCPA by paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.

According to Bloomberg, Leissner worked for years to bring Low on board as a Goldman client, despite his applications repeatedly being denied by Goldman's compliance department.

Low was closely involved in helping Goldman Sachs win the Malaysian business even as Leissner and at least one other lower-ranking banker were already working to shield his role from its compliance group to avoid additional scrutiny, according to federal filings.

According to prosecutors, the investment bank generated about $600 million in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised $6.5 billion.

The business culture at Goldman "was highly focused on consummating deals, at times prioritizing this goal ahead of the proper orientation of its compliance functions", especially in Southeast Asia, government prosecutors said in their indictment of Low and Ng unsealed last week.

Blankfein was the unidentified high-ranking Goldman Sachs executive referenced in USA court documents who attended a 2009 meeting with the former Malaysian prime minister, the people said.

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Goldman's lawyers scoured Leissner's records and provided evidence to prosecutors that he deceived them, not only in lying about his management of the Malaysian fund-raising, but in other unrelated matters, people familiar with the matter have said.

He was arrested by Malaysian police last week.

Low has been charged with money laundering and bribery by U.S. authorities, and remains on the run. A spokesperson for his legal team said Low held no formal position at 1MDB and was neither employed by Goldman Sachs nor the governments of Malaysia or Abu Dhabi.

Such suspicions were reinforced yesterday when Bloomberg reported that Goldman chairman Lloyd Blankfein had personally attended negotiations involving Leissner and Low.

Former Goldman Sachs chief Lloyd Blankfein's meeting with Low Taek Jho laid the foundation for a commercial relationship between the prestigious investment bank and Putrajaya, says a source.

Another Goldman banker, Andrea Vella, was placed on leave last week, pending a review of alleged conduct related to the 1MDB case.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) now alleges that around $US3.5 billion of that amount was misappropriated.

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