For his role in the 1MDB heist, former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng received US$35.1 (RM148) million through a shell company set up by his wife, a US court was told yesterday.
Bloomberg reported today that prosecutors said Ng, who is accused of conspiring to rob the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, had his spouse, Lim Hwee Bin, create a company to launder millions of dollars in kickbacks from the scheme’s alleged mastermind Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.
Ng is on trial for conspiring with his former boss, Tim Leissner, to help Low steal billions of dollars from 1MDB.
Ng’s wife is not charged. Leissner has pleaded guilty and turned witness for the state. Low has been charged in absentia.
The court was yesterday shown email correspondence that the prosecution said was proof that Ng’s wife, Lim “played a central and crucial role” in helping her husband launder the payments from the bond offerings that Goldman Sachs engineered for 1MDB.
FBI agent Sean Fern testified yesterday that Lim has enquired about creating the shell entity, a day before the deal for the first bond deal closed.
Silken Waters, later renamed Victoria Square, was opened, along with a bank account, at UBS Group AG, days after the bond deal closed, Fern said. Lim’s mother, Tan Kim Chin was listed as the owner of the shell company
Fern said he traced emails showing that the bankers had communicated with Lim about Victoria Square and the UBS account.
Prosecutors said in the first US$1.75 billion bond transaction, called Project Magnolia, Low and his associates siphoned off at least US$500 million, using a shell entity they created called Aabar PJS Limited in the British Virgin Islands.
Leissner has admitted that received more than US$60 million from Low in a similar fashion – through accounts controlled by his then-wife, Judy Chan Leissner.
Using Chan’s accounts, he said, he sent Ng US$35.1 million through the shell entity set up by Lim.
Ng said Chan sent the money to Lim for an unrelated business transaction. His lawyers said they would call Lim to the stand.
The former banker’s trial is part of a wider investigation into the 1MDB scandal that has seen billions of dollars in assets recovered in civil forfeitures by the US Department of Justice.
Former prime minister Najib Razak is among those who have been charged and convicted of corruption and money laundering in connection with the affair that spanned several countries, including Singapore and Switzerland. – TMI