ex-Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng sentenced to 10 years

“Once you’re above that range, it’s equivalent to launching a nuclear weapon in Times Square,” Ifrah said. “How much is the judge going to reduce that?”

Ng and his onetime boss, Tim Leissner, were accused of plotting with Malaysian financier Jho Low, the bribery scheme’s alleged mastermind. Low, now a fugitive, allegedly paid tens of millions of dollars to officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to clinch bond deals arranged by Goldman, taking $US1.42 billion for himself.

Malaysian financier Jho Low, the alleged mastermind of the scandal, is still at large.Credit:AP

Up Next: Leissner

Leissner pleaded guilty and was the government’s star witness at Ng’s trial. He will be sentenced in September but will likely get less time due to his cooperation. Prosecutors say he made $US73.4 million in the scheme. Ng earlier relinquished claims to $US35.1 million that the Malaysian government seized from his accounts.

Goldman paid more than $US2.9 billion to US authorities and more than $US5 billion globally for its role in the scandal, with its Malaysian unit pleading guilty in the US to a single conspiracy charge. Goldman’s US penalty was the largest-ever for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Ng was arrested in Malaysia in November 2018 and extradited in May 2019 to face charges in New York, where he was released to home detention on a $US20 million bond. On Thursday, the judge cited his Malaysian detention as one reason for she didn’t grant prosecutors’ request for a 15-year term.

After the hearing, Ng declined to comment on the sentence. His lawyer Marc Agnifilo said he would appeal.

‘Difficult five years’

“We’re disappointed. It’s been an incredibly difficult five years, and the judge did acknowledge it, and heard all our arguments,” Agnifilo said. “But she came out with what she came out with.”

He noted that Ng still faces criminal charges in Malaysia and, once he finishes his term in the US, will have to return to face them.


“I would imagine a 10-year sentence will make an impression on them,” he said.

Breon Peace, the US attorney in Brooklyn whose office prosecuted the case, called the sentence “a just punishment.”

Ng was “a central player in a brazen and audacious scheme that not only victimized the people of Malaysia, but also risked undermining the public’s confidence in governments, markets, businesses and other institutions on a global scale,” he said in a statement.

PTSD from prison

Ng had said in a letter to Brodie on Wednesday that a court-appointed psychiatrist found he suffers from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder after his detention in Malaysia, which he described as an “absolute hell.” He said he contracted malaria in the prison and that the experience was punishment enough.

Agnifilo on Wednesday also argued that Ng deserved leniency because the Malaysian government “has been made whole.”

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak received $US756 million in the scheme, and Khadem al-Qubaisi, a former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co, which guaranteed the 1MDB transactions, got $US472.8 million, a forensic accountant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation testified at Ng’s trial.

“The government already sent its message to the world about Goldman when it accepted its money for a deferred prosecution agreement,” Agnifilo wrote Wednesday in urging leniency for Ng. He added that his client’s PTSD was “likely going to be exacerbated by confinement and by any experiences that reactivate his trauma.”

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