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Malaysia extradites ex-Goldman banker to US over 1MDB scandal

Malaysia extradites ex-Goldman banker to US over 1MDB scandal
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Former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng has been extradited from Malaysia to the US to face charges relating to the 1MDB scandal, according to his lawyer.

Mr Ng, a Malaysian citizen, has been charged in the US and Malaysia for his alleged role in a vast $2.7bn money laundering and bribery scandal at 1MDB, Malaysia’s state development fund.

“Roger waived extradition in February and has agreed to come to the US to face the US indictment,” said Marc Agnifilo, Mr Ng’s lawyer, on Monday. “I expect that he and I will appear in court this afternoon.”

US prosecutors have accused Mr Ng of helping Tim Leissner, his former boss at Goldman, to siphon off billions of dollars from $6.5bn of bond offerings by 1MDB to pay bribes to Malaysian officials.

About half of the bond proceeds were siphoned off to Malaysian officials and spent on Van Gogh paintings and Beverly Hills mansions, as well as helping to fund The Wolf of Wall Street movie, according to US prosecutors.

Mr Leissner, a former Goldman partner, has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he participated in the fraud and is awaiting sentencing.

In an indictment unsealed in New York in November, Mr Ng was accused alongside Jho Low — a Malaysian citizen who allegedly masterminded the fraud — of three counts of conspiring to launder money and violate US foreign bribery laws.

Mr Ng has not commented on the US charges against him but pleaded not guilty to charges in Malaysia. Mr Low — who is still at large — has maintained his innocence.

“Roger Ng was temporarily surrendered to the US on 3 May 2019 and shall be returned to Malaysia to face our charges as soon as the proceedings in the US are concluded,” said Malaysia’s attorney-general in a statement.

Goldman acted as the sole bookrunner on the bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 and earned about $600m from the deals — an unusually high amount.

Last month, the Financial Times reported that US justice department staff had recommended that a settlement with Goldman Sachs over its role in the multibillion-dollar corruption scandal should include a guilty plea at the parent company level — the toughest penalty it can bring. The bank also faces criminal charges in Malaysia.

However, Goldman has denied wrongdoing and has cast Mr Leissner as a rogue employee that went to great lengths to deceive the bank.

A spokesperson for Goldman said it “denied any wrongdoing” and that it had been lied to by “certain members of the former Malaysian government and 1MDB”.

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