Former Goldman Sachs partner Tim Leissner is a “double bigamist,” a defense lawyer said in a sensational Wall Street lawsuit over his colleague’s alleged multibillion-dollar embezzlement scheme.
Leissner, the ex-husband of fashion model and reality TV star Kimora Lee Simmons, was allegedly “married to two different women at the same time, twice,” according to Roger Ng’s defense attorney, Mark Agnifilo.
Ng, the former head of Goldman’s investment banking division in Malaysia, is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and violating anti-bribery laws.
Prosecutors today will call German-born Leissner, their star witness, who was Ng’s former boss in the bank’s Southeast Asia operation, to testify at a trial in Brooklyn.
In opening statements at Monday’s trial, prosecutors said Ng, 49, received $35 million in kickbacks for helping to embezzle $4.5 billion in 1MDB funds in a “brazen” scam.
Former Goldman Sachs partner Tim Leissner, pictured with his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simons, is a “double bigamist,” the defense attorney said.
Roger Ng (left, pictured next to his lawyer Mark Agnifilo), the former head of investment banking at Goldman in Malaysia, is accused of conspiring to commit money laundering and violating anti-bribery laws to fund his lavish lifestyle.
Leissner, 52, pleaded guilty in 2018 to money laundering and bribery and agreed to cooperate with a government investigation and testify against Ng for a reduced sentence, forfeiting $43 million.
The couple allegedly worked with Malaysian financier Joe Low to funnel the money to fund their luxurious lifestyle.
Agnifilo told jurors that Leissman was “using people” and that he had an “illicit” relationship with Jasmine Lou, 1MDB’s general counsel, according to The New York Post.
She has since fled Malaysia and is wanted by the authorities.
According to the lawyer, Leissner and Lou developed “a dark trust because of their illicit intimate romantic relationship.”
Agnifilo said, “Leissner is using women, he’s using false intimacy, and now he’s trying to use my client to get him to serve a prison sentence.”
The couple allegedly worked with Malaysian financier Joe Low (pictured) to funnel the money to fund their luxurious lifestyle.
If found guilty, Ng faces several decades in prison for alleged embezzlement of funds to fund his lavish lifestyle.
Lawyers for the ex-banker denied the accusations, arguing that U.S. Attorney’s Office scapegoated Ng for “corporate-wide” failures at Goldman that led to a colossal fraud.
“Roger is 100% innocent,” defense attorney Mark Agnifilo told the jury. “We’re going to hold an innocent man’s trial.”
The defense argued that Ng’s only role was to introduce Lowe to “much more involved” superiors at Goldman who had escaped prosecution. The lawyer also claimed that his client warned the company’s management not to trust Lowe.
Among the purchases made as a result of the record heist were the massive Equaanimity superyacht, jewelry, and even funding for the hit 2013 film The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Before appearing in court today, Agnifilo told jurors that Leissner was not to be trusted, stating that the witness secretly wrote down accomplices in the scheme, but he never found anything incriminating about his client Ng.
Agnifilo told jurors that Leissman (pictured with Camora) was “using people” and had an “illicit” relationship with Jasmine Lou.
U.S. Attorney Brent Wyble alleges that Ng secretly negotiated with Leissner and Lowe to receive hundreds of millions of dollars raised in three 1MDB-related bond deals for development projects in Malaysia.
In 2018, Law, the mastermind behind the scheme, was indicted in the United States along with Ng.
He was not arrested by US or Malaysian authorities, and his US attorney did not respond to a request for comment.
Prosecutors say Goldman earned $600 million in commissions from the deals, and that about $4.5 billion of the proceeds were embezzled.
Goldman paid a nearly $3 billion fine and arranged for a guilty plea in a US court by its Malaysian subsidiary.
Prosecutors said Leissner’s testimony would be supported by other evidence.
“He will tell you about this bribery and money laundering scheme from the inside,” Weebl said in court on Monday.
Agnifilo countered that Leissner, who had not yet been sentenced, had lied to prosecutors about Ng’s involvement in the attempt to commute his sentence.
Malaysian socialite Jo Lowe (right), another key player in the scheme, remains at large and is believed to have received asylum abroad. In 2012, he threw a lavish 31st birthday party attended by DiCaprio (left), Kim Kardashian and other celebrities. Lowe and DiCaprio at the world premiere of The Wolf of Wall Street in Paris in December 2013.
He spent much of his opening statement attacking Leissner’s authority, portraying him as a socialite with expensive taste.
Leissner and Simmons met in business class on a flight from Hong Kong to Kuala Lumpur. They say that their first meeting began with a quarrel and ended with a marriage proposal.
They got married in 2013 and have a son, Wolf, who was born in 2015. The couple lived in an $11 million Los Angeles mansion but sold the house last year.
Leissner still resides in the City of Angels.
Malaysian socialite Lowe, who maintains his innocence, has become well known in the New York and Los Angeles club scenes.
In 2012, he threw a lavish 31st birthday party that included DiCaprio, Kim Kardashian and other celebrities – a celebration that The Wall Street Journal called “the wildest party ever.” [Las] Vegas never seen.
Pop star Britney Spears is said to have jumped out of a birthday cake to serenade Lowe.
He also dated Miranda Kerr, who was forced to turn down $8 million in jewelry he gave her in an IMDB investigation.