Ex-Goldman banker to be extradited to US for 1MDB charges

Malaysia will extradite former  Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Roger Ng to the U.S. to face charges linked to troubled state fund 1MDB.

Ng, 46, will be sent to the U.S. pending an order from the Ministry of Home Affairs, according to a decision reached in a Kuala Lumpur court on Friday. He was said to have earlier fought his extradition in November, according to people with knowledge on the matter.

Ng was deputy to Tim Leissner, the former Southeast Asian chairman at Goldman who has pleaded guilty to U.S. charges including conspiring to launder money. The bank itself is preparing to “vigorously defend” against allegations that it submitted false statements to a Malaysian regulator in arranging three bond sales for 1MDB while knowing the money raised would be misappropriated.

Ng’s planned extradition is the latest development in a scandal that has roiled Malaysian politics and reached the highest levels at Goldman. Investigators from Singapore to Switzerland allege billions of dollars were embezzled and misused over a number of years, and the scandal has resulted in former Malaysian premier Najib Razak being dragged to court for dozens of corruption charges.

Goldman said this month that it will defer payouts of long-term cash awards granted in January 2011 to three executives, who have since retired, until more information is available regarding 1MDB. They are former chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein and former vice chairmen Michael Sherwood and J. Michael Evans, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Malaysian Charges

Ng faces allegations both in the U.S. and in Malaysia related to $6.5 billion of 1MDB bond sales that Goldman arranged. He has pleaded not guilty to Malaysian charges of abetting the bank’s units in allegedly misleading investors as part of that debt offer, and is set to face accusations of money laundering and bribery once he’s in the U.S.

Ng plans to defend his case on its merits in the Eastern District Court of New York, and has reached an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department on bail and its terms, said his lawyer Tan Hock Chuan.

While Ng seeks to be extradited within 30 days, the court noted that Malaysia allows up to three months for the process, with him set to remain in custody during that time. The court had dismissed Ng’s application for bail in January as he was deemed a “serious flight risk” and said there was insufficient proof that he suffered from a debilitating health condition. He has been detained since November, after the U.S. requested his extradition.

It’s up to the Malaysian government to decide on his local charges, said Ng’s lawyer Tan. The case mention date for those allegations is set for March 18.