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Ex-Goldman man barred for 10 years, two face life bans

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MAS slap prohibition orders on four former bankers for 1MDB breaches

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has banned former Goldman Sachs star dealmaker Tim Leissner from Singapore's securities industry for 10 years.

It also plans to slap prohibition orders on three others caught in the scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

MAS has served notice of its intention to ban Jens Sturzenegger, former branch manager of Falcon Private Bank here, and former BSI bankers Yak Yew Chee and Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, who were convicted here over the 1MDB saga.

Given the gravity of the misconduct, MAS said it intends to issue lifetime bans against Sturzenegger and Mr Yak, and a 15-year ban against Ms Seah.

The Straits Times understands this could become the first lifetime prohibition orders implemented under the Securities and Futures Act (SFA) and Financial Advisers Act.

"MAS will not tolerate conduct by any finance professional that threatens to undermine trust and confidence in Singapore's financial system," Mr Ong Chong Tee, MAS deputy managing director of financial supervision, said.

Last year, MAS withdrew the local banking licences of Falcon and BSI, and issued fines against UBS Group AG, DBS Group, Standard Chartered and Coutts for breaches related to 1MDB.

Mr Leissner, the former South-east Asia chairman at Goldman Sachs who left it in February last year, was sanctioned because he issued an unauthorised letter to a financial institution and made false statements on the bank's behalf without its knowledge, MAS said.

He will be banned from performing any regulated activity under the SFA or managing any capital market services firm here for 10 years.

The other three also face bans on performing any regulated activity or managing any capital market services firm here. They could be barred from providing any financial advisory service or managing a licensed financial adviser under the Financial Advisers Act.

Mr Leissner's lawyer could not be immediately reached. Ms Seah's lawyer did not comment. Mr Yak respects MAS' decision, his lawyer said.

The lawyer for Sturzenegger, who is now serving a 28-week jail sentence, declined to comment on whether his client will respond to MAS' notice.

Sturzenegger was fined $128,000 in January after pleading guilty to six of 16 counts, including consenting in Falcon's failure to comply with anti money-laundering rules.

His lies misdirected money-laundering probes into suspicious 1MDB transactions and hid Malaysian tycoon Jho Low's alleged role.

Mr Yak was jailed for 18 weeks last November and fined for forgery and failing to disclose suspicious transactions allegedly related to Mr Low. Ms Seah was given two weeks' jail and fined last December for similar offences.

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