Feb 4, 2020 - Economy

Goldman banker banned from industry amid 1MDB scandal

stealing the gold from the Malaysian flag

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Andrea Vella, the former co-head of investment banking at Goldman Sachs Asia, has been banned from the banking industry for life by the Federal Reserve Board.

Why it matters: Goldman Sachs faces billions of dollars in fines for helping facilitate the "heist of the century" in Malaysia. Vella "engaged in unsafe and unsound practices," says the Fed, by failing to properly escalate concerns about Jho Low, the financier who masterminded the scheme and who is now a fugitive.

  • Vella's former colleagues Tim Leissner and Roger Ng were similarly banned last year.

As I wrote earlier: The bank facilitated the 1MDB fraud, earning almost $600 million in fees on three bond deals from the deeply corrupt Malaysian fund. That's about 200 times more than the normal amount a sovereign issuer would pay. Each time, as soon as Goldman provided the money to 1MDB, Low would steal it.

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