Corruption and Greed

Posted by Dylan Fahy.

This article discusses how Roger Ng, a former managing director for Goldman Sachs, worked with a Malaysian financer by the name of Jho Low to allegedly “bribe officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates and to launder billions of dollars stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a state-controlled economic development company known as 1MDB” (Fanelli). Another man, named Timothy Leissner, a former Goldman Sachs partner, allegedly participated in meetings with Mr. Ng and Mr. Low to discuss bribing government officials to benefit Goldman Sachs. He also says that at this meeting, Mr. Low made a chart with all of the officials which they bribed. The issue that has arisen is that Mr. Leissner, who previously said that Mr. Ng was not at that meeting, in and FBI memo, was now saying that Mr. Ng was in fact at the meeting and knew about the bribery plans. Mr. Ng’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, also says that “Mr. Leissner never mentioned an alleged bribery chart until nearly three years into discussions with investigators” (Fanelli).

Mr. Agnifilo’s goal is to ruin any credibility that Mr. Leissner has as a witness in this case. By pointing out the inconsistencies in his testimony, as well as the fact that he has already been accused of these bribery crimes himself, he is showing the court that Mr. Leissner is not a credible witness. Additionally, in their time at Goldman Sachs, Mr. Leissner and Mr. Ng “helped raise $6.5 billion in bond offerings for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013” (Fanelli). However, despite raising this much money, most of it was laundered away by means of offshore shell companies. Although Mr. Low was a key partner in these illegal deals, he is still at large. Personally, I find it odd that he is still at large considering he was such a big part in these illegal actions. Also, with how digital the world is today it seems like it would not be that hard to find him. The article does go on to say that Mr. Leissner and Mr. Ng never told Goldman Sachs that Mr. Low was a middleman in these deals, so part of me does understand why it may be harder to find him if there is not much of a trail.

At the end of the article, it is made known that Mr. Leissner did in fact lie to the FBI by “falsely saying that his ex-wife and Mr. Ng were responsible for certain crimes that he in fact committed” (Fanelli). When Mr. Agnifilo was able to get Mr. Leissner to admit this, it is clear that he as no credibility left. This is because since admitted to knowingly lying to the FBI, why should people have any reason to believe him now? This article is a great example of cross examination and it clearly worked for Mr. Agnifilo and his client, Mr. Ng. This is why a good cross examination is absolutely essential. Without Mr. Agnifilo being able to get this information out of Mr. Leissner, the court would still be under the assumption that Mr. Ng was at the meeting and what Mr. Leissner said in court and to the FBI was true. All in all, this article was very interesting, clear cut, and easy to understand. It gave me a clear understanding of the case and I leave it with more knowledge than I had before.

Dylan is a sophomore and a Finance and Accounting Major, Stillman School of Business, Seton Hall University, Class of 2024.