Justice Department Charges Former Goldman Sachs Banker, Husband Of Kimora Lee Simmons

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Written by Dana Sanchez

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Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, pleaded guilty to charges related to money laundering and corruption in a multibillion-dollar Malaysian sovereign-wealth fund scandal, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Leissner is the husband of fashion mogul and reality TV personality Kimora Lee Simmons.

The Justice Department announced multiple criminal charges on Thursday morning including against Leissner, another former Goldman Sachs banker and Malaysian financier Jho Low.

These are the Justice Department’s first criminal charges against people in the case.

Goldman generated about $600 million in fees for its work with the fund, known as the 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB. In the past, Goldman repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said it is fully cooperating with authorities, Reuters, reported.

Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. He has to pay $43.7 million for his crimes. Two other people are were indicted.

Goldman
Kimora Lee Simmons arrives at the taping of “TV Land Presents: AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Morgan Freeman” in Culver City, Calif., Thursday, June , 2011. The special will air June 19th on TV Land. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

 

U.S. prosecutors previously filed civil asset forfeiture suits to seize assets allegedly purchased with funds stolen from the 1MDB fund.

1MDB was created by the Malaysian government to promote long-term economic growth for the benefit of the people, but allegedly corrupt officials and their associates reportedly used the funds for a spending spree, according to a speech in December by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that was posted on the Department of Justice website, Bloomberg reported.

Sessions called the 1MDB scandal “kleptocracy at its worst”.

“1MDB officials allegedly laundered more than $4.5 billion in funds through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts in countries ranging from Switzerland and Singapore to Luxembourg and the U.S.,” Sessions said.

Simmons, 43, and husband Leissner, 47, were spotted in October with their children at Universal Studios Hollywood, Daily Mail reported. Lee has four children including one with Leissner. Simmons was first married to music mogul Russell Simmons, who she met when she was 17, in 1998. They had two children together.

Simmons made headlines in January defending ex, Russel Simmons, after a 15th woman came forward in multiple accusations of sexual assault.

“These allegations against him are nothing like the person I have known in all that time,” Kimora said in January. “I have known him to be a caring and supportive father and someone who has worked tirelessly to uplift disenfranchised communities.”

Simmons is a fashion model and fashion designer. She took over Baby Phat after ex Russell Simmons and was CEO and creative director through 2010. She had her own reality TV shows, “Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane” and “Kimora: House of Fab”.