Former banker extradited from Malaysia for conspiring to launder billions of dollars from development fund and bribes to officials

Ng Chong Hwa, known as “Roger Ng,” a citizen of Malaysia, has been extradited to the United States from Malaysia to face charges of conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund, conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to multiple government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, and conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of a major New York-headquartered financial institution (Financial Institution). In a three-count indictment unsealed last year, Ng, was charged with crimes he allegedly committed while employed as a Managing Director at the Financial Institution, which underwrote more than $6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB in three separate bond offerings in 2012 and 2013.  Ng was arrested in Malaysia on November 1, 2018, pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued at the request of the United States, later waived extradition to the United States, and is scheduled to be arraigned today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

As set forth in the indictment, between approximately 2009 and 2014, Ng conspired with others to launder billions of dollars misappropriated and fraudulently diverted from 1MDB, including funds 1MDB raised in 2012 and 2013 through three bond transactions it executed with the Financial Institution.  As part of the scheme, Ng and others conspired to bribe government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain lucrative business for the Financial Institution, including the 2012 and 2013 bond deals.  They also conspired to launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct through the U.S. financial system by funding major Hollywood films and purchasing, among other things, artwork from a New York-based auction house and luxury residential real estate in New York City and elsewhere.

As alleged, Ng, co-defendant Low Taek Jho (also known as “Jho Low”), and their co-conspirators used Low’s close relationships with high-ranking government officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to obtain and retain business for the Financial Institution through the promise and payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in bribes.  In the course of executing the scheme, Ng and others at the Financial Institution conspired to circumvent the Financial Institution’s internal accounting controls. Through its work for 1MDB during that time, the Financial Institution received approximately $600 million in fees and revenues along with increased reputational prestige.  At the same time, Ng and other co-conspirators at the Financial Institution received large bonuses and enhanced their own reputations at the Financial Institution.  In total, Ng and the other co-conspirators misappropriated more than $2.7 billion from 1MDB.  Low remains at large.