CHINESE BILLIONAIRE CONVICTED IN UNITED NATIONS BRIBERY CASE

Jul 31, 2017

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Ng Lap Seng a Chinese billionaire who wanted to build a United Nations center in Macau was convicted on Thursday of paying more than $1.7 million in bribes to U.N. ambassadors to get it done.The verdict was returned after a day of deliberations in Manhattan federal court against Ng Lap Seng, one of China’s richest men. Ng was convicted of bribery, conspiracy and money laundering charges. Prosecutors presented evidence that Ng from 2010 to 2015 bribed two U.N. ambassadors, including a U.N. General Assembly president, paying one $50,000 monthly at the scheme’s peak to create a center to serve struggling Southern Hemisphere nations. Defense lawyers contended the payments were ordinary. But the center was never built. Ng looked at jurors as the verdict was announced but otherwise did not display emotion. U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick tightened Ng’s bail conditions, saying he was now “literally under house arrest,” confined under $50 million bail to a luxury Manhattan apartment where he has remained for most months under 24-hour guard since his September 2015 arrest. Prosecutors presented evidence that Ng from 2010 to 2015 bribed two U.N. ambassadors with hundreds of thousands of dollars to support his project to build a U.N. conference center, but defense lawyers contended that Ng only paid money when he was asked to spend it to speed the project along. A prosecutor earlier this week had urged the jury to convict Ng, saying he bribed two United Nations ambassadors so he could build a U.N. facility in China that would be as big as the one in New York, a claim a defense attorney dismissed the case as “a big zero.” The defendant Ng Lap Seng corrupted the United Nations,  are allegedly corrupting the United Nations.  Ng was confined under 24-hour guard in a luxury Manhattan apartment for the last two years for getting money in the United Nations. The 69-year-old Ng paid millions of dollars to two U.N. ambassadors over a five-year period to clear away red tape so he could build a conference center in Macau that would be the “Geneva of Asia,” where tens of thousands of people would spend money at his hotel, a marina, a condominium complex, a heliport and a shopping center. Whistle blowers blamed the ambassadors former U.N. General Assembly President John Ashe and suspended Dominican Republic Ambassador Francis Lorenzo for abusing their relationships with Ng. The defendants are still not guilty and no evidence that Ng had forged with the United Nations and its ambassadors to build a multibillion-dollar facility that would serve developing nations.