Last month Atlanta Black Star reported that Kimora Lee Simmons‘ husband Tim Leissner pleaded guilty in U.S. federal court to money laundering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and agreed to pay back $47 million as part of his punishment. He and other men were accused of stealing money from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund created to produce economic growth for the country.
But now, as Leissner — who is a German national living in America — awaits sentencing on his charges in the United States, Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas has filed criminal charges against him and businessman Roger Ng Chong Hwa, as well as banking giant Golden Sachs, and will be seeking sentences against the two men of up to 10 years in prison.
In a giant corruption scheme that spanned years, saw billions of dollars embezzled from the fund, and reached as high as former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the stolen wealth fund money was used to finance the film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and on extravagances like a yacht, pricey artwork, jewelry and a transparent piano.
It’s also been said that Leissner and Chong Hwa worked with the Malaysian businessman Jho Low, who’s also been accused of money laundering and trying to sneak cash into the United States to bribe officials to make U.S. charges disappear.
Low has been accused of having a business relationship with the rapper Pras as well, who’s now being investigated by the U.S. Department of Justice. At this time, Low remains an international fugitive, who’s being pursued by Malaysian and American officials, and Pras denies any wrongdoing.
So far, Leissner — who is free on bond as he awaits sentencing on the federal charges he pleaded guilty to last month — hasn’t commented on the Malaysian government’s criminal charges, nor has Kimora. But Goldman Sachs released a statement defending the investment bank against the allegations.
“We believe these charges are misdirected and we will vigorously defend them and look forward to the opportunity to present our case,” the statement read. “The firm continues to cooperate with all authorities investigating these matters.”