Roger Ng ordered to forfeit US$35 million over 1MDB fiasco

Roger Ng, who played a role in the 1MDB financial scandal, says he has already forfeited all his money to Malaysia and cannot afford to pay a further US$35.1 million as ordered by a US court. – AFP pic, March 25, 2023.

FORMER Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fraud, was yesterday ordered to forfeit US$35.1 million (RM155.4 million) by a US district judge, Reuters reported.

Brooklyn judge Margo Brodie rejected Ng’s claims that he had already forfeited all of his money – alleged proceeds from his crimes in the tens of millions – to Malaysia.

The ex-banker’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo said his client had no funds left, but Brodie said the US$35.1 million forfeiture is not constitutionally excessive.

She argued Ng had a role in “one of the largest financial crimes of all time” that caused “intangible harm to the public’s confidence in democracy and government”, even if he were less culpable than others.

Agnifilo did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Brodie sentenced Ng to prison on March 9, 11 months after jurors found him guilty of helping his former boss Tim Leissner embezzle money from 1MDB, launder the proceeds, and bribe government officials to win business.

Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low), suspected mastermind of the scheme, was also indicted but remains at large.

Leissner faces a September 6 sentencing. Goldman settled with authorities in October 2020, agreeing to pay US$2.9 billion and having its Malaysian unit plead guilty to a corruption charge.

Ex-prime minister Najib Razak is serving a 12-year prison sentence after being convicted of receiving US$10 million from a former 1MDB unit, but has consistently denied wrongdoing. – March 25, 2023.

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