A former banker for Goldman Sachs was convicted on charges that he helped to embezzle billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB development fund, according to ThinkAdvisor.
49-year-old Roger Ng was found guilty last week by a federal jury in Brooklyn on all three of the counts against him following an eight-week trial. He was charged with two counts of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery law, and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering.
Prosecutors said Ng and other Goldman Sachs bankers helped 1MDB raise $6.5 billion through three bond sales, but arranged to have $4.5 billion of those funds diverted to themselves and other co-conspirators through bribes and kickbacks. Ng’s defense attorneys said that a massive heist had been perpetrated against the development fund, but said that their client had been falsely implicated in the scheme by the government’s star witness Tim Leissner, a higher-ranking Goldman Sachs banker.
Leissner, who pleaded guilty in the case, testified about the money laundering efforts he had orchestrated along with Ng and the alleged architect of the scheme, Malaysian financier Jho Low. Ng was accused of helping Leissner embezzle and launder money, and bribe officials to win business for Goldman Sachs. Ng allegedly received $35 million in illegal kickbacks.
“The defendant and his cronies saw 1MDB not as an entity to do good for the people of Malaysia, but as a piggy bank to enrich themselves,” said Breon Peace, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
Ng, who served as Goldman Sachs’ head of investment banking in Malaysia, faces up to 30 years in prison when he is sentenced. He remained free on bond following the verdict.
In 2020, a unit of Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty in the case to conspiring to violate anti-bribery laws and paid a fine of nearly $3 billion.
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