Roger Ng, Former Goldman Sachs Banker, Sentenced to 10 Years’ Imprisonment For Role in 1MDB FCPA Scandal

The end of the road for Roger Ng, the Goldman Sachs Investment Banker, who played a critical role in the Goldman Sachs 1 MDB Malaysia scandal, was not a pretty one.  District Judge Margo Brodie gave Ng a severe sentence of ten (10) years’ imprisonment.  At the sentencing hearing, Judge Brodie chastised Ng for participating in a massive scheme to steal billions of dollars from thee Malaysian people.

Ng was convicted after a hard-fought trial for his key role in the $6.5 billion bribery scandal involving the Malysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB bond financing deals.  The Goldman Sachs scandal resulted in the largest multi-billion dollar financial penalties ever imposed by the Justice Department in an FCPA and money laundering case.  The ringleader of the conspiracy, Jho Low, is a fugitive.

Roger Ng, along with co-conspirators Tim Leissner and Jho Low, were charged with a massive FCPA conspiracy in which they stole more than $3 billion to pay bribes and earn kickbacks from over $6 billion in 1MDB bond transactions designed to fund Malaysian infrastructure projects.  Jho Low, as the ringleader, arranged a complex scheme of bribes paid to Malaysian government officials.  Goldman earned more than $600 million in fees for its lead role in the bond offerings.

Leissner pled guilty to FCPA conspiracy and forfeited over $43 million.  Leissner testified at the trial against Ng.  Leissner has not yet been sentenced.

Leissner testified for over two weeks and was subject to aggressive cross-examination, during which he admitted earning tens of millions from the bribery scheme.  Leissner’s baggage included numerous instances of lying and misrepresentations, including his admission that he lied to two women to whom he was married to at the same time.

Ng was alleged to earn more than $35 million from the bribery scheme.  Ng did not testify at trial.  However, his wife testified that Ng, her husband, earned the $35 million from another business.  Ng’s wife was eviscerated on cross-examination when she was forced to admit she and Roger Ng did not have any documentation to confirm the earning of $35 million from the separate business.

According to Leissner, Ng was present at critical meetings with Jho Low, Leissner, and Malaysian government officials, during which the bribery scheme was agreed to in order to secure valuable bond financing deals in exchange for payment of bribes to the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Ng was also convicted of money laundering charges stemming from the funding of major Hollywood films, such as “The Wolf of Wall Street,” purchasing luxury apartments in New York City, a $51 million Jean-Michel Basquiat painting from Christie’s auction house, a $23 million diamond necklace and millions of dollars in Hermes handbags.

Prior to the sentencing hearing, prosecutors sought a sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment.  Ng asked for time served, claiming that the pressure and impact of the criminal prosecution against him had punished him and his family commensurate to the crime.  Ng also claimed that he suffered extreme harm when he was imprisoned in Malaysia after his arrest while awaiting extradition.

In 2020, Goldman Sachs agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement (“DPA”) in exchange for payment of $2.9 billion in penalties.

Ng was permitted to self-surrender to serve his sentence on May 4, 2023.

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