Due to an ex-hip hop banker, Goldman Sachs has taken a $1 billion hit
Tim Leissner, Kimora Lee Simmons’s spouse and a former Goldman Sachs Asia partner who pleaded guilty and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million in 2018, is still dragging on the bank’s earnings.
Last Monday, the Wall Street behemoth set aside $1.09 billion in the fourth quarter of the year to resolve DOJ claims that it arranged $6.5 billion in loans for Malaysian development fund 1MDB, which was later plundered by Leissner and others.
Goldman is apparently in talks with the DOJ over bribery rules in the United States and may plead guilty in exchange for a $2 billion fine.
This is due to the fact that at least one of its bankers was aware of Malaysian financier Jho Low’s involvement in the 1MDB bond transactions.
Leissner, who CultureBanx alleged married hip hop’s original first lady in December 2013, is the banker in the “know” who the DOJ is alluding to.
Since pleading guilty in the case, Leissner has been forbidden from working in the securities industry by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Goldman had already turned down Low as a client on several occasions.
When the allegations were first brought in 2017, Kimora spoke out to WWD, claiming that her and her husband’s finances are unrelated to her business ventures.
This is a good thing, because between 2009 and 2014, approximately $4.5 billion was mismanaged by 1MDB fund officials and their associates, including Leissner and his associates.
According to court filings, Leissner and another suspected co-conspirator received more than $200 million in all.
Investing in Culture: Leisner and his co-defendants spent the money as if they were in a real-life hip hop music video.
The money was used to buy luxurious homes and yachts in the United States, as well as art and bribery.
They allegedly used U.S. banks to launder the illicit money. Although authorities allege Goldman made roughly $600 million in fees for its involvement with 1MDB, the bank continues to deny any wrongdoing.
As this never-ending controversy unfolds, the bank’s most recent reserve in Q4 2019 cut into overall profits for the quarter, resulting in earnings per share falling 22% from the previous year.
Goldman might possibly focus on its consumer business, which includes Marcus, an online retail bank, and its credit card operation.
Revenue for both companies increased by 23% to $228 million in the fourth quarter.
Goldman Sachs profited about $300 million after selling their Uber shares at the end of the year, so all hope wasn’t gone.
What’s Next: Goldman’s downfall will be severe, as the 1MDB scandal is expected to drag on for years.
While awaiting trial in Malaysia, another former Goldman banker, Roger Ng, is in talks with the DOJ about a possible plea offer.
The Malaysian government, which fined Goldman $7.5 billion, still wants a piece of the action.