News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 14, 2018: A Chinese businessman who bribed two Caribbean-born UN officials will have to spend four years in jail a New York judge has ruled.
Ng Lap Seng, aka “David Ng,” 69, Chairman of Macau Real Estate Development Company will serve 48 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a scheme to bribe two Caribbean-born United Nations ambassadors to obtain support to build a conference center in Macau that would host, among other events, the annual United Nations Global South-South Development Expo.
The sentencing comes after Ng was convicted on July 27, 2017, after a five-week trial of two counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, one count of paying bribes and gratuities, one count of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Vernon S. Broderick of the Southern District of New York also ordered Ng to pay a $1 million fine and $302, 977 in restitution to the United Nations $1.5 million in forfeiture money judgment.
Ng must report to the U.S. Marshals Service by July 10th to start his prison sentence.
According to the evidence presented at trial, Ng, the chairman of the Sun Kian Ip Group, conspired with and paid bribes to Francis Lorenzo, a former UN Ambassador from the Dominican Republic, and John W. Ashe, the late former Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the UN and the 68th President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
The trial evidence showed that Ng bribed Ambassador Ashe and Ambassador Lorenzo in exchange for their agreement to use their official positions to advance Ng’s interest in obtaining formal UN support for the Macau Conference Center.
As the evidence demonstrated at trial, Ng paid the ambassadors in a variety of forms. For example, Ng appointed Ambassador Lorenzo as the President of South-South News, a New York-based organization — funded by Ng, which described itself as a media platform dedicated to advancing the implementation of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.
Ng provided bribe payments to Ambassador Lorenzo through South-South News by transmitting payments from Macau to a company in the Dominican Republic affiliated with Ambassador Lorenzo’s brother.
Through South-South News, Ng also made payments to Ambassador Ashe, including to Ambassador Ashe’s wife, who was paid in her capacity as a “consultant” to South-South News, and to an account that Ambassador Ashe had established, purportedly to raise money for his role as President of UNGA.
According to the trial evidence, one of the actions that the ambassadors took in exchange for bribe payments, to advance Ng’s objectives, was to submit an official document to the then-UN Secretary-General in support of the Macau Conference Center.
The UN Document claimed that there was a need to build the Macau Conference Center to support the UN’s global development goals.
Ambassador Ashe, aided by Ambassador Lorenzo, initially submitted the UN Document to the UNGA in or about late February 2012. More than a year later, at Ng’s behest, the Ambassadors revised the UN Document to refer specifically to Ng’s company, the Macau Real Estate Development Company, as a partner in the Macau Conference Center project.
The UN Document requested that the Secretary-General circulate the UN Document “as a document of the 66th session of the General Assembly,” under a specific item of the official UNGA agenda. The Secretary-General followed this request, thereby making the UN Document an official part of the UNGA record.
Lorenzo pleaded guilty to various charges, including bribery, and are awaiting sentencing. Ashe passed away in 2016 and the charges against him were dismissed.