Ex-Goldman Banker Ng Should Get 15 Years for 1MDB, US Says
Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Roger Ng, the only employee of the bank to be tried and convicted over the global 1MDB scandal, should be sentenced to a term of at least 15 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
(Bloomberg) -- Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Roger Ng, the only employee of the bank to be tried and convicted over the global 1MDB scandal, should be sentenced to a term of at least 15 years in prison, federal prosecutors said.
In a sentencing recommendation filed Friday, prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, said Ng’s crimes merited a substantial term of imprisonment. He was convicted in April of conspiring to bribe foreign officials and launder money in the looting of the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Ng, 51, last week filed his own sentencing memo asking the judge to spare him from prison. The former Goldman managing director said the six months he spent in a Malaysian prison before being extradited to the US in 2019 and his four years of house arrest since then were punishment enough. Ng also still faces prosecution in Malaysia for the 1MDB fraud.
The US disagreed in Friday’s filing.
“The pending Malaysian criminal charges expeditiously should not take precedence over the need for the defendant to be appropriately sentenced in the United States,” prosecutor Alixandra Smith wrote.
US District Judge Margo Brodie is scheduled to sentence Ng on March 9.
A federal jury found that Ng conspired with his former boss, onetime Goldman Southeast Asia head Tim Leissner, and financier Jho Low to bribe officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to facilitate 1MDB bond deals that allowed Low to steal $1.42 billion.
Leissner pleaded guilty to 1MDB charges and was the star prosecution witness against Ng. Low remains a fugitive.
Prosecutors said in Friday’s memo that the length of the prison term they are seeking for Ng is justified under US federal sentencing guidelines because of the size of the fraud.
Ng’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, said last week that his client shouldn’t be held responsible for the massive fraud and instead calculated Ng’s guideline range to be 97 to 121 months. Agnifilo argued that his client should instead be sentenced to time served.
Agnifilo didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the government’s request.
The judge earlier on Friday ordered Leissner to forfeit $43.7 million as well as 3.3 million shares in the fitness-drink company Celsius Holdings Inc.
Prosecutors are asking Brodie to order Ng to surrender $35.1 million they said he earned in the scheme.
Goldman in 2020 admitted to its role in the foreign bribery scheme and paid more than $2.3 billion in the plea deal, with its Malaysian unit pleading guilty to a single conspiracy charge. Goldman’s penalty was the largest in US history for a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
The case is US v Ng, 18-cr-538, US District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
(Updates with defense attorney’s arguments for lighter sentence)
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