The 10-year prison sentence handed down to former
It also raises a question about how much prison time a US judge will impose on Ng’s former boss,
The looting of billions of dollars from the
Next to those staggering benchmarks of corruption, Ng pocketed $35.1 million, while Leissner, Goldman’s former Southeast Asia chairman and Ng’s former supervisor, made off with $73 million.
Leissner is likely to get rewarded for his cooperation with prosecutors, leaving Ng as the only Goldman banker to spend significant time behind bars for the fraud.
“Ten years is a hell of a long time,” said Jeff Ifrah, a white-collar defense lawyer and expert on federal sentencing guidelines. By comparison, he said, accidentally killing someone and getting convicted of involuntary manslaughter might result in a four or five-year sentence.
“Rather than go after those 30 Goldman officers and executives, the Department of Justice gave the bank a sweetheart deal, effectively letting the bank buy a ‘get out of jail free’ card for its executives,” Kelleher said in an interview. “Compounding that miscarriage of justice, the DOJ prosecuted just one junior Goldman partner, Roger Ng.”
A federal jury in Brooklyn, New York, convicted Ng last April of conspiring to violate US anti-bribery laws and launder money.
“This is one of the biggest financial crimes in the history of the world,” US District Judge
The disgraced 51-year-old former Goldman managing director had asked the judge to mete out no jail time at all, beyond the six-month term he’d already served in a squalid Malaysian facility.
Brodie said Ng had held “a great job, made good money and would have been comfortable.” So “the only explanation is greed,” the judge said, and there was a “critical need” to deter it.
Goldman paid more than $2.9 billion to US authorities and more than $5 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 $20 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.
‘Difficult Five Years’
“We’re disappointed,” Agnifilo said. “It’s been an incredibly difficult five years, and the judge did acknowledge it, and heard all our arguments.”
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.
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.
Former Malaysian prime minister
“The government already sent its message to the world about Goldman when it accepted its money for a deferred prosecution agreement,” Agnifilo wrote Wednesday to the judge in urging leniency for Ng.
The case is US v. Ng, 18-cr-538, US District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
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