Business

Ex-Goldman Sachs banker charged in 1MDB case will be sent to the United States

Posted February 15, 2019 1:33 p.m. EST

— Roger Ng, a former Goldman Sachs banker charged by the US Justice Department for his role in Malaysia's multi-billion dollar embezzlement scandal, will be sent to the United States to appear in federal court.

Ng waived an extradition hearing in Malaysia on Friday, according to his lawyer, Marc Agnifilo. He'll enter a not guilty plea in Brooklyn, Agnifilo said.

The former Goldman managing director is charged with conspiracy to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Malaysia's state investment fund. He's also accused of paying bribes to foreign officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

The Justice Department claims that conspirators misappropriated $4.5 billion from the 1MDB fund, and has zeroed in on Goldman's role in the scheme. The bank has been in negotiations with the agency for months.

Goldman orchestrated three large bond offerings for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013. The bond sales, which raised a total of $6.5 billion, earned Goldman Sachs $600 million in fees.

Federal prosecutors claim Ng and Tim Leissner, Goldman's former Southeast Asia chairman, skirted internal accounting controls at Goldman Sachs to facilitate the deals.

Almost half of the money that Goldman raised for the fund was allegedly siphoned off to pay for jewelry and fine art, and to fund bribes and kickbacks to foreign officials, according to US officials.

Ng's position could be complicated by the fact that Leissner has already entered a guilty plea for all charges against him. His sentencing is scheduled for June.

In August, Leissner said in court that it was "very much in line of its culture of Goldman Sachs to conceal facts from certain compliance and legal employees."

Goldman, for its part, has repeatedly claimed that it was misled by rogue employees who intentionally deceived its legal and compliance teams. Ng left Goldman in 2014, and Leissner departed in 2016.

"As we have said all along, we are outraged that any employee of the firm would undertake the actions detailed in the government's charges," a bank spokesperson said Friday.