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.
In April 2022, Ng was found guilty at trial of FCPA and related charges.
With sentencing looming, Ng’s counsel stated, in summary fashion, as follows in a recent sentencing memorandum.
“Roger Ng is a gentle, slight, humble man who finds himself at the epicenter of one of the biggest criminal cases in history, and while others far more powerful and richer than him, have either cut deals with the government or become fugitives (or both), Mr. Ng never ran away and never sacrificed his principles. Mr. Ng has done everything every Government has asked of him— first Singapore, then Malaysia, and now the United States. Singapore wanted to question him for three months in 2017—and Mr. Ng complied. He even returned to Singapore once he was allowed to leave to continue his cooperation. In the Summer and Fall of 2018, Malaysia wanted his family to relinquish all of their bank accounts because some of the funds were tainted with money traceable to 1MDB—and his family complied. The United States indicted him in late 2018 and wanted him to waive extradition to face his charges—and he did so at the earliest opportunity. He has never lied to any government agent or authority and has continued to live his life honestly and with humility in keeping with his Buddhist beliefs. This stands in stark contrast to his alleged coconspirators, most of whom have fled, and to Tim Leissner, who apparently did not flee to Brazil with his mistress soon enough, continued to commit other crimes after his involvement in 1MDB, and admitted to lying to federal investigators during numerous proffer sessions.
Mr. Ng was arrested on U.S. charges in Malaysia on November 1, 2018. He was incarcerated under brutal and cruel conditions in a Malaysian prison for over six months before being picked up by U.S. authorities. He has lived the last almost four years alone, 10,000 miles from his family, missing his daughter, who has gone from six to almost 11 years of age without having her father. There can be no doubt that Mr. Ng has suffered and has been punished every day since the day of his arrest. While we recognize that of the 1,589 days between November 1, 2018, and March 9, 2023, only the 186 days prior to this Court releasing him on home confinement legally counts against any jail sentence, this entire four-and-a-half-year period has caused tremendous suffering, all of it imposed by the U.S. Government. As such, in connection with this case, the last 1,589 days should be viewed as punishment for purposes of the ultimate sentence.
However, Mr. Ng and his family have already been punished in another way. Even before the announcement of the U.S. charges and before Malaysia filed charges, Mr. Ng’s family paid back all of the alleged 1MDB funds in various bank accounts held by Mr. Ng’s family and also paid to Malaysia substantial additional funds not related to 1MDB. Prior to Mr. Ng being arrested, prior to his knowledge that the U.S. had charged him with a crime, and prior to any formal legal action in Malaysia, the Ng family, specifically his wife, his mother-in-law and his brother-in-law, relinquished all of the funds that Malaysian authorities claimed were derived from the 1MDB theft. But, the Malaysian government did not just take the money derived from 1MDB. The family also agreed to relinquish bank accounts containing not just 1MDB funds, but virtually the totality of the family’s combined wealth over generations. Had this been done by the U.S., and not the Malaysian, Government, jeopardy likely would have prevented any further punishment. Of course, because the authority exacting the financial punishment was the Government of Malaysia and the one looking to impose further punishment is the Government of the United States, double jeopardy does not apply. But, the actions of the Malaysian government plainly arise to a recognized form of punishment under U.S. law, and this is something this Court should consider as a factor in rendering a substantially below guidelines sentence.
Based on these, and other, factors discussed in this Memorandum, Mr. Ng is a uniquely-situated defendant, one who has already been punished by his country, has been badly mistreated while in the custody of his country on U.S. charges, has been separated from his young daughter, wife and family for four years, and who would suffer from a sentence of further incarceration, far more than the typical defendant. We ask that the Court show mercy to him, to his daughter, to his wife, and to his mother, and to sentence him to the prison time he has already served in objectively sub-human conditions in Malaysia. We ask that the Court permit Mr. Ng to return home, to Malaysia, where he is still subject to Malaysian criminal charges related to the massive theft of Malaysian funds.”