Leissner was earning US$41,000 a month in ‘shadow work’ working for Bonderman Fund

NEW YORK, United States (Bloomberg): Tim Leissner worked in parallel for the family office of David Bonderman, the billionaire co-founder of TPG Inc., while still a partner at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the former star told the banker to a jury on Wednesday, March 10.

Leissner, the key witness in a money laundering trial of his former colleague Roger Ng, said that in 2015 he earned more than US$41,000 (RM170,000) a month in a role at Wildcat Capital Management, who manages Bonderman’s personal fortune.

Leissner said he did not disclose the dispute to Goldman, where at the time he was chairman of Southeast Asia. Leissner, who did not provide details of his role, left Goldman in 2016.

Leissner, who pleaded guilty to his role in a scam that saw billions of dollars looted from the Malaysian fund known as 1MDB, is cooperating with the United States. He was questioned for several days by Ng’s lawyer who tried to undermine the banker’s credibility by showing the jury evidence that Leissner was “a rare crafty liar”, hammering him for lies he said he told to prosecutors, federal agents, company officials and regulators, as well as his multiple wives and girlfriends.

“Mr. Leissner was never an employee of Wildcat,” Wildcat said in a statement. “He was a consultant from the summer of 2015, but was immediately fired when the circumstances surrounding his departure from Goldman Sachs became known.”

Earlier in the lawsuit, Leissner said he helped secure a job at TPG Asia for Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s daughter after compliance prevented him from doing so at Goldman. Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Malaysia in connection with the 1MDB scandal. The United States claims that some $2.7 billion of the $6.5 billion Goldman helped raise for 1MDB was stolen by people linked to Najib.

Leissner admitted to pocketing more than $60 million in bribes for facilitating 1MDB bond transactions and being paid $12 million by Goldman in the first year he did so. Yet he testified that dissatisfaction with pay drove his shenanigans and dealings with Ng, and that the two tried to supplement their incomes with deals that were not approved by the bank.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that Leissner briefly held an advisory role at Wildcat after leaving Goldman the same year. –Bloomberg

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