As highlighted here, in November 2018 the DOJ announced criminal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (and related charges) against individuals associated with Goldman Sachs – including Roger Ng (a former managing director at Goldman Sachs) – for paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials in connection with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s state-owned and state-controlled investment development company. The individuals were also charged with conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB.
As highlighted here, in September 2021 U.S. District Court Judge Margo Brodie (E.D.N.Y) denied Ng’s motion to dismiss to certain charges paving the way for a rare FCPA trial.
The trial began in mid-February and today Ng was convicted of FCPA and related charges.
As reported by Law360:
“Former Goldman Sachs managing director Roger Ng was convicted Friday on all counts stemming from $6.5 billion in 1MDB bond deals underwritten by the investment bank that were driven by bribes and kickbacks.
A federal jury in Brooklyn deliberated for nearly 16 hours over the course of 4 days before convicting Ng, also known as Ng Chong Hwa, of conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, conspiracy to violate the FCPA by circumventing Goldman’s internal accounting controls and money laundering conspiracy.
The verdict came down after two months of trial in which prosecutors argued that Ng, former Goldman partner Tim Leissner and Malaysian financier Jho Low carried out a scheme to mislead Goldman into backing three bond transactions from Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.
Prosecutors say Low leveraged his government contacts in Southeast Asia and the Middle East to use a flood of bribes to prop up the bond deals. Goldman netted approximately $600 million in fees and revenue for underwriting the transactions, while Leissner and Ng pocketed tens of millions of dollars, in addition to receiving heightened compensation and status for bringing such lucrative business to Goldman.
Low, the purported mastermind of the scheme, is alleged to have embezzled $1.42 billion from 1MDB. He is considered to be a fugitive by the U.S. and his whereabouts are not publicly known.
Leissner pled guilty and cooperated with the government. Over the course of 10 days on the witness stand at Ng’s trial, Leissner said Ng was intimately involved in the scheme and placed him at a key 2012 London meeting with Low, Leissner and others in which Low laid out what government officials — including the former prime minister of Malaysia and an influential sheikh in Abu Dhabi — had to be bribed to ensure the bond deals went through.
However, Leissner was pilloried on cross-examination over his admissions to extensive lies for years in both his professional and personal lives.
Under a deferred prosecution agreement in 2020, Goldman agreed to pay $2.9 billion to resolve the U.S. government’s criminal investigation into the bank’s role in the affair. The New York-based investment bank also agreed to a $3.9 billion deal to exit the Malaysian government’s criminal case over the bank’s role in the 1MDB ordeal.”
In this DOJ release, Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite stated:
“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.”
U.S. Attorney Breon Peace for the Eastern District of New York stated:
“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 stated:
“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 Korner of IRS Criminal Investigation Los Angeles Field Office stated:
“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.”
Strategies For Minimizing Risk Under The FCPA
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