Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng argues 1MDB bribes only US$1bil, not US$2bil

NEW YORK: Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng is disputing the amount in bribes that were paid during the 1MDB scandal ahead of his sentencing for conspiring to loot billions of dollars from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

Ng, who is set to be sentenced on March 9, said in a sealed reply to a government presentencing report filed in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, that US$1.1bil was paid to corrupt officials including former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak. Federal prosecutors said in a Wednesday court filing that the amount was “approximately US$2bil.”

The government listed several other inaccuracies in Ng’s report and said the former banker appeared to be trying to re-litigate the case. Ng was found guilty in April following an eight-week trial at which his former Goldman boss and co-conspirator, Tim Leissner, was the star prosecution witness.

“As he did at trial, the defendant wants to attack Leissner rather than acknowledge the actual facts of the case,” prosecutors said of Ng’s report.

Ng’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment on the government filing.

Ng who was convicted of three counts, including conspiring to violate U.S. anti-bribery laws and conspiring to launder money, faces as much as 30 years in prison, but is likely to get a much lower sentence.

Leissner, who pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors, is set to be sentenced on Sept. 6. – Bloomberg