Convicted Ex-Goldman who laundered 1MDB billions funding Wolf of Wall Street

Rick Steves

Roger Ng, a former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, was convicted today by a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York for conspiring to commit bribery, to circumvent internal accounting controls, and commit money laundering after an eight-week trial. The conviction is in connection with the multibillion-dollar scheme involving Malaysia’s state-owned investment and […]

Roger Ng, a former Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, was convicted today by a federal jury in the Eastern District of New York for conspiring to commit bribery, to circumvent internal accounting controls, and commit money laundering after an eight-week trial.

The conviction is in connection with the multibillion-dollar scheme involving Malaysia’s state-owned investment and development fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said: “Roger Ng participated in a massive bribery and money laundering scheme involving the corruption of high-level foreign officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates.

“This trial demonstrates the commitment by the Department of Justice to prosecute and hold accountable individuals who engage in corruption and use our financial system to launder funds related to their illicit schemes. We will continue to pursue criminal wrongdoers and will seek to bring them to justice, wherever they are, deprive them of their ill-gotten gains, and, wherever possible, return corrupt proceeds to those harmed by corruption — as we have throughout our longstanding investigation into the 1MDB scheme.”

1MDB: One of the world’s greatest financial scandals

Roger Ng was found guilty of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to a dozen foreign officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of Goldman Sachs, and conspiring to launder billions of dollars related to the scheme.

U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York, said: “Today’s verdict is a resounding victory for justice and for the people of Malaysia who are the victims of this massive scheme carried out in a frenzy of greed by the defendant and his co-conspirators to get rich by stealing millions of dollars from the 1MDB fund intended to benefit that country’s economy. The Department of Justice and this office are committed to addressing corporate culture by vigorously combating white-collar crime and holding corrupt individuals accountable for violating U.S. laws here and abroad in order to enrich themselves.”

Assistant Director Luis Quesada of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, commented: “The FBI and our domestic and international law enforcement partners maintain an unwavering commitment to combating international corruption. This conviction serves a reminder that the FBI will always hold accountable those who abuse the U.S. financial system to further their corrupt schemes, as well as the persons and companies that enable them.”

Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), Los Angeles Field Office, added: “Today’s conviction of Roger Ng demonstrates the cooperation of law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies around the world to combat foreign corruption. Roger Ng and his co-conspirators enriched themselves while depriving the citizens of Malaysia of billions of dollars that were supposed to be invested on their behalf. The Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation is proud to stand with our law enforcement partners in the United States and around the world who participated in this most significant investigation.”

Roger Ng, Tim Leissner and Jho Low

Ng was employed as a Managing Director by various subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs and acted as an agent and employee of Goldman Sachs from approximately 2005 to May 2014.

Between 2009 and 2014, Ng and his co-conspirators, including Tim Leissner and Jho Low, laundered billions of dollars misappropriated and fraudulently diverted from 1MDB.

To that effect, they paid more than $1 billion in bribes to 12 government officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates to obtain and retain lucrative business for Goldman Sachs.

Then, they laundered the proceeds through the U.S. financial system, including funding major Hollywood films such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and purchasing, among other things, a $51 million Jean-Michael Basquiat painting from New York-based Christie’s auction house, a $23 million diamond necklace from a New York jeweler, millions of dollars in Hermès handbags from a dealer based on Long Island, and a luxury real estate property in Manhattan.

Through its work for 1MDB during that time, Goldman Sachs received approximately $600 million in fees and revenues, while Ng received $35 million for his role in the bribery and money laundering scheme. In total, Ng and the other co-conspirators misappropriated more than $2.7 billion from 1MDB.

Low remains a fugitive. In August 2018, Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and conspiring to violate the FCPA and agreed to forfeit $43 million and shares of stock valued at more than $200 million, and is awaiting sentencing.

Goldman Sachs paid more than $2.9 billion as part of a coordinated resolution with criminal and civil authorities in the United States, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and elsewhere.

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