David Solomon’s Honeymoon Comes To Abrupt End

Could this ex-partner’s guilty plea not have come, say, a month and a day ago?
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DJ D-Sol had so much planned to celebrate his accession to Lloyd Blankfein’s chair, and you can be sure he expected the party to last longer than a month. Unfortunately, fellow party-planner-extraordinaire and former aggrieved Goldmanite Tim Leissner had other plans for this one-month anniversary of Goldman Sol.

DJ D-SOL

Tim Leissner, a former partner for Goldman in Asia and once among its highest paid employees, pleaded guilty to conspiracies to launder money and violate foreign antibribery laws for his role in helping raise money for the fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB….

The Leissner guilty plea is the biggest black eye for a Goldman partner since 1989, when executive Robert Freeman was led off the trading floor in handcuffs, later convicted of a crime related to insider trading. The charges will test the bank’s new CEO, David Solomon, who was running the investment-banking division at the time Goldman underwrote the Malaysian bonds and was ultimately Mr. Leissner’s boss.

Of course, a scandal of this scale—$2.7 billion allegedly skimmed from the $6.5 billion Goldman helped 1MDB raise and spent on diamonds and prime ministers and a weekend at the Venetian and movies starring Leo DiCaprio—is rarely the work of just one man, even if that man is married to Kimora Lee Simmons. In this case, Brooklyn prosecutors say it was the work of three. Unfortunately for Solomon, one of the others is also a former Goldman banker, while an unindicted co-conspirator is still on the payroll. Even more unfortunately, those prosecutors are looking into whether it can at “Goldman, Sachs & Co.” to the list of defendants.

Roger Ng, the other former Goldman banker, and Mr. Low, who allegedly masterminded the fraud, were indicted on three conspiracy counts to violate foreign antibribery laws and launder money….

Prosecutors from the U.S. attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York have been investigating whether Goldman violated any laws in its role arranging the 1MDB bond sales, The Wall Street Journal previously reported….

Goldman on Wednesday placed another senior banker on leave after he was cited as a key player in the 1MDB dealings. Andrea Vella, who was until recently Goldman’s co-head of investment banking in Asia, isn’t identified by name in the charging documents, which refer to an “Italian national” as a co-conspirator. People familiar with the matter confirmed his identity.

Justice Department Charges Ex-Goldman Bankers in Malaysia 1MDB Scandal [WSJ]

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