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Malaysia seeks return of ex-Goldman banker convicted in 1MDB case

NEW YORK – Malaysia wants a former Goldman Sachs banker convicted last year in New York of helping loot billions of dollars from its 1MDB sovereign wealth fund to return to the country before starting his 10-year US prison sentence.

US District Judge Margo Brodie in Brooklyn on Tuesday delayed Roger Ng’s scheduled Sept. 6 surrender date by one month to Oct. 6, after federal prosecutors said they needed more time to talk with Kuala Lumpur about first letting him stand trial on charges there.

“The United States is also working to ensure that the procedures governing the defendant’s return to Malaysia will not unduly delay the service of his US sentence,” prosecutors said.

Mr. Ng’s lawyers agreed to the one-month delay, prosecutors said. Marc Agnifilo, one of the lawyers, declined to comment.

The case stemmed from about $6.5 billion in bonds that Goldman helped 1MDB sell in 2012 and 2013.

US prosecutors said $4.5 billion of that sum was embezzled by officials, bankers and their associates.

Mr. Ng, 51, was convicted in March 2022 on bribery and money laundering conspiracy charges. Brodie called his embezzlement “a crime of pure greed” when sentencing Ng a year later.

At a court hearing last month, US prosecutor Drew Rolle said Ng could be returned to Malaysia to stand trial there once he is in US custody.

Mr. Agnifilo said at the hearing that Malaysia wanted Mr. Ng’s cooperation with an ongoing 1MDB probe.

Mr. Ng was arrested in Malaysia in November 2018 and agreed to be extradited to the United States three months later.

In a separate letter to Brodie on Tuesday, lawyers hired this month by Malaysia‘s government said the United States had “backtracked” on its commitments regarding Ng’s surrender. The lawyers called the matter a “very serious issue.”

Another onetime Goldman banker, Mr, Ng’s former boss Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty and testified against Ng at trial. He has not yet been sentenced.

Jho Low, the alleged mastermind of the 1MDB scheme, was also criminally charged but is at large. – Reuters

Jino Nicolas

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