December 7, 2022

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U.S. jury deliberates in ex-Goldman banker’s 1MDB corruption trial

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – A U.S. jury resumed deliberations on Friday in the trial of a previous Goldman Sachs (GS.N) banker accused of assisting loot billions of dollars from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund.

Prosecutors say Roger Ng, Goldman Sachs Team Inc’s previous major expense banker for Malaysia, helped his then-boss Tim Leissner embezzle funds from the fund — which was started to pursue improvement jobs in the Southeast Asian country — launder the proceeds and bribe officials to win small business for Goldman.

Ng, 49, has pleaded not responsible to conspiring to launder income and violating an anti-corruption legislation. His legal professionals say Leissner, who pleaded guilty to related charges in 2018 and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors’ investigation, falsely implicated Ng in the hopes of receiving a lenient sentence.

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The fees stemmed from a person of the most significant monetary scandals in history.

Prosecutors have said Goldman served 1MDB raise $6.5 billion as a result of 3 bond sales, but that $4.5 billion was diverted to govt officers, bankers and their associates as a result of bribes and kickbacks among 2009 and 2015.

Ng is the first, and likely only, human being to facial area trial in the United States around the plan. Goldman in 2020 compensated a practically $3 billion good and its Malaysian device agreed to plead guilty.

Deliberations started on Tuesday immediately after a nearly two-month trial in federal court docket in Brooklyn.

Jurors heard nine times of testimony from Leissner, who stated he despatched Ng $35 million in kickbacks. Leissner reported the adult men agreed to tell banking institutions a “protect story” that the money was from a legitimate small business enterprise in between their wives.

Ng’s wife, Hwee Bin Lim, later on testified for the defense that the business venture was, in truth, respectable. She claimed she invested $6 million in the mid-2000s in a Chinese company owned by the relatives of Leissner’s then-wife, Judy Chan, and that the $35 million was her return on that financial investment.

Ng’s law firm, Marc Agnifilo, said in his closing argument on Monday that Leissner could not be reliable. A prosecutor, Alixandra Smith, reported in her summation that Leissner’s testimony was backed up by other proof.

Jho Small, a Malaysian financier and suspected mastermind of the plan, was indicted along with Ng in 2018 but remains at big.

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Reporting by Luc Cohen in New York editing by Jonathan Oatis

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