Euromoney, November 2018
The charge sheets against former Goldman Sachs employees also appear to identify a senior figure who is still at the bank; they also spell out the circumstances of Goldman’s 1MDB bond mandates in uncomfortable detail.
The charges unsealed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) around the 1MDB scandal on Thursday drag Goldman Sachs right back into the mire it has spent the past few years deftly escaping.
It’s not just the fact that two former Goldman Sachs bankers, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng, face charges. These charges were expected, both men have long since left the bank, and Goldman appears to have convinced many regulators that they were rogues acting alone – a version of events the Monetary Authority of Singapore, for example, seems to have accepted.
Further damage lies in point 10 of the filing against Leissner, where it refers to “co-conspirator #4”.
The line reads: “Co-Conspirator #4 was an Italian national who was employed as a Participating Managing Director and acted as an agent of US Financial Institution #1 from approximately 2007 to present.”
Andrea Vella, who until recently was co-head of investment banking for Asia at Goldman Sachs, is an Italian national who, according to his LinkedIn profile, joined Goldman in 2007.
Two weeks ago Vella was moved to a new, role as co-chairman of investment banking for Asia ex-Japan. Euromoney understands Vella has now been placed on leave.
The issue for Goldman here is that it brings the allegation of conspiracy right back into the firm, to a current, serving employee at a very senior level.
Goldman itself still appears to be negotiating with the DoJ about its own culpability, and does not appear to be out of the woods yet. In a statement, Goldman said: “The firm continues to cooperate with all authorities investigating this matter.”
The charges also go into far more detail than the original DoJ complaint about the circumstances through which Goldman won the controversial bond mandates for 1MDB.
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