A former investment banker with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has been convicted for his role in the massive US$4-billion bribery scheme involving Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), a federal jury found former Goldman banker Roger Ng guilty of conspiring to violate anti-corruption laws for paying bribes to dozens of government officials in Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, and for conspiring to launder billions of dollars that was diverted from 1MDB.
Between 2009 and 2014, Ng and his co-conspirators allegedly paid over US$1 billion in bribes to secure lucrative debt underwriting deals from the fund for Goldman Sachs.
They also allegedly misappropriated US$2.7 billion from those bond offerings and laundered the proceeds through the U.S. financial system. Activities included funding films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and purchasing luxury goods, including a US$51 million Jean-Michael Basquiat painting, a US$23-million diamond necklace, millions of dollars worth of Hermès handbags, and real estate in Manhattan.
“In the course of executing the scheme, Ng conspired with others at Goldman Sachs to circumvent the investment bank’s internal accounting controls,” the DoJ said. “Through its work for 1MDB during that time, Goldman Sachs received approximately US$600 million in fees and revenues, while Ng received US$35 million for his role in the bribery and money laundering scheme.”
In August 2018, co-conspirator and former Goldman banker Tim Leissner pled guilty to conspiracy charges. He agreed to forfeit US$43 million and more than US$200 million in stock. He is awaiting sentencing.
In 2020, Goldman Sachs paid more than US$2.9 billion as part of a coordinated resolution with criminal and civil authorities in the U.S., the U.K., Singapore and elsewhere.