Money stolen as part of a scheme by ex-Goldman Sachs bankers to loot a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund was used to make extravagant purchases – such as $300,000 worth of jewelry and a $20,000 gold-plated hourglass, according to an FBI agent who tracked the transactions.
FBI agent Sean Fern detailed the lavish purchases while testifying in the ongoing embezzlement trial of ex-Goldman star Roger Ng – who is accused of conspiring with fellow ex-banker Tim Leissner and shady Malaysian financier Jho Low to steal billions from Malaysia’s 1MDB fund.
At least $24.4 million in pilfered cash was transferred from an account controlled by Leissner’s ex-wife, Judy Chan Leissner, to another account held by Ng’s mother-in-law Tan Kim Chin.
The money moved just weeks after the Goldman bankers facilitated a bond deal involving the 1MDB fund in May 2012, according to Fern’s testimony detailed by Bloomberg.
An additional $10.7 million arrived in Tan’s offshore account in two transactions occurring in 2013 as the scheme continued, Fern added.
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Prosecutors have alleged that Low and the Goldman bankers used the money to fund an extravagant lifestyle, including luxury properties and high-rolling casino trips.
Fern said some of the money that ended up in the account controlled by Ng’s mother-in-law was used to buy the hourglass and a jewelry that included a six-carat diamond ring.
Earlier this week, prosecutors alleged Ng’s wife, Hwee Bin Lim, “played a central and crucial role” in Ng’s efforts to launder his proceeds from the scheme. She allegedly opened a shell company that was used to launder tens of millions of dollars in bribes stolen from the fund.
Leissner – the prosecution’s key witness– testified earlier in the trial that he funneled $35.1 million to Ng from an account controlled by his ex-wife.
A former partner for Goldman Sachs’ Asia division, Leissner pleaded guilty to federal charges ahead of the trial and agreed to forfeit $43.7 million. He will be sentenced later this year.
Prosecutors have also detailed Low’s lavish lifestyle during the trial.
A casino executive testified that Low was a regular guest at the Venetian in Las Vegas who lost $26 million playing baccarat during his trips to the casino – including $1.75 million in one 90-minute session.