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Wednesday
Nov232016

Feds add FCPA charges against Macau billionaire and assistant for alleged UN bribes

The DOJ filed a superseding indictment in federal court in Manhattan Tuesday against a Macau developer accused of bribing the former president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Ng Lap Seng now faces FCPA charges for paying at least $500,000 in bribes to John Ashe.

Ashe was a former U.N. ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda. He served as General Assembly president from 2013 to 2014.

The original indictment in October 2015 charged Ng and his assistant Jeff Yin with domestic bribery, currency smuggling, and tax-related crimes.

Yin was also charged Tuesday with violating  the FCPA.

Ashe died in June, five days before a status conference in his own trial for bribery. He reportedly dropped a weight on his neck during a gym workout.

Ng founded Macau-based real estate developer Sun Kian Ip Group. The DOJ alleged he bribed Ashe to win UN support for development of a conference center in Macau.

The superseding indictment Tuesday said Ng and Yin also bribed Francis Lorenzo when he was deputy U.N. ambassador from the Dominican Republic.

Lorenzo pleaded guilty in March to bribery and money laundering.

In August this year, a woman was sentenced to 20 months for bribing Ashe.

Shiwei Yan -- also known as Sheri Yan -- pleaded guilty in federal court in Manhattan in January to paying Ashe more than $800,000 in bribes.

She worked with Lorenzo to arrange the bribes.

The DOJ had also charged Ng and Yin with making false statements to Customs and Border Protection officers about $4.5 million in cash they brought into the United States from China since 2013.

Ng and Yin have pleaded not guilty to all prior federal charges.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.