© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ex-Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng and his lawyer Marc Agnifilo leave the federal court in New York, U.S., May 6, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon/File Photo
By Luc Cohen
NEW YORK (Reuters) – 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 U.S. prison sentence.
In a letter on Tuesday to U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie in Brooklyn, federal prosecutors asked for a one-month delay in Roger Ng’s scheduled Sept. 6 surrender, so they could 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 U.S. sentence,” prosecutors said.
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.
U.S. prosecutors said $4.5 billion of that sum was embezzled by officials, bankers and their associates.
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, U.S. prosecutor Drew Rolle said Ng could be returned to Malaysia to stand trial there once he is in U.S. custody.
Agnifilo said at the hearing that Malaysia wanted Ng’s cooperation with an ongoing 1MDB probe.
Ng was arrested in Malaysia in Nov. 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, 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.