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US Sentences Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker to 10 Years Over Malaysian State Fund Fraud

Former Goldman Sachs executive Roger Ng, center, leaves Brooklyn Federal court with attorney Marc Agnifilo, right, May 6, 2019, in New York.InternationalIndiaAfricaNEW YORK (Sputnik) – A former senior banker at Wall Street powerhouse Goldman Sachs was sentenced to 10 years in prison by a US judge on Thursday for his role in conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from a Malaysian state development fund, the Justice Department said in a statement.Ng Chong Hwa, also known as Roger Ng, a citizen of Malaysia and a former Goldman managing director, was found guilty of violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying more than $1.6bln in bribes to a dozen government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, and conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of Goldman.Ng’s imprisonment is the most high profile one in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fraud after that of former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, who was handed a 12-year sentence last year for his role in misappropriating money from the fund as well.”Roger Ng was a central player in a brazen and audacious scheme that not only victimized the people of Malaysia, but also risked undermining the public’s confidence in governments, markets, businesses and other institutions on a global scale,” Breon Peace, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in the Justice Department statement.According to details of the case, between approximately 2009 and 2014, Ng conspired with others to launder billions of dollars misappropriated and fraudulently diverted from 1MDB, including funds 1MDB raised in 2012 and 2013 through three bond transactions it executed with Goldman Sachs, known as “Project Magnolia,” “Project Maximus,” and “Project Catalyze.“As part of the scheme, Ng and others, including Tim Leissner, the former Southeast Asia Chairman and participating managing director of Goldman, and co-defendant Low Taek Jho, a wealthy Malaysian socialite also known as “Jho Low,” conspired to pay more than a billion dollars in bribes to a dozen government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain lucrative business for Goldman, including the 2012 and 2013 bond deals.Malaysian Fraud Fugitive Jho Low Paid Leonardo DiCaprio, Other Stars for Party Appearances – Reports17 February 2022, 01:28 GMTThey also conspired to launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct through the US financial system by funding major Hollywood films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and purchasing, among other things, artwork from New York-based Christie’s auction house including a $51mln Jean-Michel Basquiat painting, a $23mln diamond necklace, millions of dollars in Hermes handbags from a dealer based on Long Island, and luxury real estate in Manhattan.Ng, Leissner, Low and their co-conspirators used Low’s close relationships with high-ranking government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain business for Goldman through the promise and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes.In the course of executing the scheme, Ng conspired with others at Goldman Sachs to circumvent the investment bank’s internal accounting controls. Through its work for 1MDB during that time, Goldman received approximately $600mln in fees and revenues, while Ng received more than $35mln for his role in the bribery and money laundering scheme. In total, Ng and the other co-conspirators misappropriated more than $2.7bln from 1MDB.


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