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Department of Justice
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 6, 2019

Former Banker Extradited from Malaysia to United States to Face Charges in Multi-Billion Dollar Money Laundering and Bribery Scheme Relating to the 1MDB Fund

Malaysian National to be Arraigned on FCPA and Money Laundering Conspiracy Charges in Relation to Three Bonds for 1Malaysian Development Berhad

A Malaysian national, Ng Chong Hwa, 46, also known as “Roger Ng,” has been extradited from Malaysia to the United States 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).

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York, Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney Jr., of the FBI’s New York Field Office and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of the IRS Criminal Investigation (CI), Los Angeles Field Office announced the extradition.

In a three-count indictment unsealed last year, Ng, of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 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 Nov. 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 make his first appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. 

As alleged 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 1MDB 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 further conspired to launder the proceeds of their criminal conduct through the U.S. financial system.

Court filings further allege that Ng, Low Taek Jho, also known as  “Jho Low,” and the co-conspirators used co-defendant 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, more than $2.7 billion was misappropriated from the 1MDB bond proceeds.  Low remains at large.

The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The investigation was jointly conducted by the FBI’s International Corruption Unit and IRS-CI.  The government’s criminal case is being handled by the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section (MLARS) and Fraud Section and the Business and Securities Fraud Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.  MLARS Trial Attorneys Jennifer E. Ambuehl, Woo S. Lee, Mary Ann McCarthy and Kyle Freeny, Fraud Section Trial Attorneys Katherine A. Nielsen and Nikhila Raj and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jacquelyn M. Kasulis, Alixandra E. Smith and Drew G. Rolle are prosecuting the case.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided critical assistance in this case.  Additional Criminal Division Trial Attorneys and Assistant U.S. Attorneys within U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of New York and Central District of California have provided valuable assistance with various aspects of this investigation, including with civil and criminal forfeitures. 

The Department also appreciates the significant cooperation and assistance provided by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System along with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.  The Department also appreciates the significant assistance provided by the government of Malaysia, including the Attorney General’s Chambers of Malaysia, the Royal Malaysia Police and NCB Interpol Malaysia.  The Department also appreciates the significant assistance provided by the Attorney General’s Chambers of Singapore, the Singapore Police Force-Commercial Affairs Division, the Office of the Attorney General of Switzerland, the Judicial Investigating Authority of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Criminal Investigation Department of the Grand-Ducal Police of Luxembourg.

The International Unit of the Criminal Division’s MLARS is home to the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative—a team of dedicated prosecutors working to prosecute individuals and forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption that has affected the U.S. financial system and, where appropriate, return those proceeds to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office.  MLARS’s Bank Integrity Unit investigates and prosecutes banks and other financial institutions, including their officers, managers, and employees, whose actions threaten the integrity of the individual institution or the wider financial system.

The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters.  Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.

Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the United States should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 
19-475
Updated May 6, 2019