Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Ng pleads not guilty to 1MDB charges

(Reuters) – Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng pleaded not guilty to felony charges linked to a multibillion-dollar scandal on the Malaysian state funding fund 1MDB in an look at federal courtroom in New York on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Men stroll previous a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard on the fund’s flagship Tun Razak Exchange growth in Kuala Lumpur March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo

The U.S. Department of Justice accused 46-year-old Ng final yr of conspiring to launder cash and bribe authorities officers in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi by bond choices that Goldman Sachs dealt with. He was extradited on May three to New York from Kuala Lumpur, the place he had been jailed since November.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo, of U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, allowed Ng, a Philippines citizen, to be launched in change for a $20 million bond. He was fitted for an ankle bracelet, and will probably be staying at an undisclosed location within the New York City space that the courtroom permitted.

His lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, stated he satisfied Ng to “come to the U.S. and face the music” as a result of it was evident that prosecutors had been not going to drop the case, and his consumer had turn out to be very in poor health. Ng seems to have misplaced weight, primarily based on images of him earlier than his arrest.

“He was in a very difficult situation,” Agnifilo instructed reporters. Being detained in New York “is better than a Malaysian jail,” he added.

Ng, who left Goldman Sachs in 2014, faces up to 30 years in jail if he’s convicted of the three charges towards him within the United States, primarily based on alleged violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Prosecutors and Ng’s lawyer try to negotiate a plea cut price. Government attorneys stated they hope to keep away from a trial by reaching a deal, although Agnifilo stated it was too early to inform.

Malaysia’s house minister needed Ng to face felony charges there first, however agreed to quickly give up him to the United States for 10 months, Malaysia’s legal professional basic, Tommy Thomas, stated in an announcement.

“The period of temporary surrender may be extended upon mutual agreement by Malaysia and the U.S.,” Thomas added.

The 1MDB case has shaken Goldman Sachs, which can be being probed by the Justice Department for its position as underwriter and arranger for some $6.5 billion value of 1MDB bond choices.

Prosecutors estimate that high-level 1MDB fund officers and their associates misappropriated $four.5 billion between 2009 and 2014, together with among the funds that Goldman Sachs helped increase.

Goldman Sachs has persistently denied wrongdoing and stated sure members of the previous Malaysian authorities and 1MDB lied to it about how the bond proceeds can be used.

Ng was charged in Kuala Lumpur with 4 counts of abetting the financial institution to present deceptive statements within the providing prospectus for 1MDB bond gross sales.

Tim Leissner, one other former Goldman Sachs banker, and Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho have additionally been charged within the United States over 1MDB. Leissner has pleaded guilty.

In an announcement, Low’s spokesman Paul Caminiti criticized the Malaysian authorities for “inhumane prison conditions” and referred to as its motivation with the United States politically motivated.

Low, whose whereabouts are unknown, has persistently denied wrongdoing by spokesmen.

Malaysia has stated it was in search of up to $7.5 billion in reparations from Goldman over its dealings with 1MDB, arrange in 2009 by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Najib, who misplaced a basic election final yr, is dealing with 42 felony charges associated to losses at 1MDB and different state entities. He has pleaded not guilty.

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts in Brooklyn, New York, and Rozanna Latiff in Kuala Lumpur; writing by Lauren Tara LaCapra; modifying by Phil Berlowitz and Leslie Adler

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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