Former Goldman Sachs Banker Charged in 1MDB Fraud Will Return to U.S.


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A former Goldman Sachs banker implicated in a multibillion-dollar fraud in Malaysia will return to the United States to face the criminal charges against him, his lawyer said in an email on Thursday.

Roger Ng is accused of helping his boss at Goldman launder money and bribe officials from two countries as part of the bank’s work for a Malaysian state-owned development fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB.

Mr. Ng planned to waive an extradition hearing on Friday and return to the United States, according to his lawyer, Marc Agnifilo. Mr. Agnifilo said his client intended to plead not guilty when he appeared in federal court in Brooklyn. He added that Mr. Ng did not have any agreement to cooperate with prosecutors.

Mr. Ng was arrested in Malaysia in November. The charges against him relate to an alleged scheme by the country’s former leaders to loot 1MDB, which used Goldman’s investment banking services to issue $6 billion in bonds meant to fund infrastructure projects in the country. But the former prime minister Najib Rizak and his family, along with Jho Low, a young financier in their inner circle, spent a large portion of the money on jewels, jets and artwork instead.

Mr. Najib was arrested on Malaysian charges in July. Mr. Ng and Mr. Low have been charged by federal prosecutors and the Malaysian authorities. Mr. Low remains at large, and was last believed to be in China.

Prosecutors said Mr. Ng and his boss Tim Leissner, a former Goldman partner, had taken kickbacks from the deals. Mr. Leissner was charged by federal prosecutors in secret in June and pleaded guilty in August. The criminal information against him was unsealed in November when Mr. Ng and Mr. Low were charged.

Mr. Ng’s decision to trade a Malaysian jail for an American one is hardly surprising. Malaysia’s government is now led by Mr. Najib’s political opposition and wants Goldman to pay the country $7.5 billion in damages.

Robin Rathmell, Mr. Low’s lawyer, suggested that it would be difficult to get a fair trial in Malaysia on the 1MDB charges.

“The Malaysian government has made it clear it has prejudged the guilt of everyone connected to this case, and the inhumane conditions in Malaysia’s prisons are well publicized,” he wrote in an email.

Mr. Ng left Goldman Sachs in 2014.

“As we have said all along, we are outraged that any employee of the firm would undertake the actions detailed in the government’s charges,” said Jake Siewert, a Goldman Sachs spokesman.


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