US begins return of $200 million in 1MDB funds to Malaysia

US begins return of $200 million in 1MDB funds to Malaysia

Ng is among former bankers at Goldman Sachs accused of helping to misappropriate $2.7bn of funds, bribing officials and giving false statements when helping to issue bonds that would raise proceeds for 1MDB.

Also known as Roger Ng, the defendant was arraigned before a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn, pleading not guilty, according to a spokesman for the US Attorney's office in the Eastern District of NY. He was ordered to undergo a 60-day remand for extradition proceedings after three charges were filed against him in a court in NY. He was fitted for an ankle bracelet, and will be staying at an undisclosed location in the New York City area that the court approved.

Marc Agnifilo, a lawyer for Ng, said he expected his client to plead not guilty, in comments reported by the New York Times on Monday. Ng appears to have lost weight, based on photos of him before his arrest. Being detained in NY "is better than a Malaysian jail", he added.

According to Mr Thomas, the practical consequences of Ng facing criminal charges in two different jurisdictions led to negotiations between the two countries on where he should be tried first.

The $57m remitted so far relates to a settlement reached with United States film production company Red Granite Pictures, Malaysia's Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement.

Last week, sources said Singaporean authorities are preparing to return about S$35 million (US$26 million) surrendered by Ng and his family in connection with the 1MDB scandal to Malaysia. U.S. authorities estimate that about $4.5bn was misappropriated by senior 1MDB officials and their associates between 2009 and 2014, including some of the funds that Goldman Sachs helped to raise.

Leissner has already pleaded guilty in the United States to 1MDB-linked charges.

Ng was charged in Kuala Lumpur with four counts of abetting the bank to provide misleading statements in the offering prospectus for 1MDB bond sales.

A former Goldman Sachs banker pleaded not guilty Monday in NY to bribery and other charges in the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal after being extradited from Malaysia.

The United States also indicted Low Taek Jho, an alleged mastermind behind the scandal and an intermediary to the Malaysian fund.

"It may be recalled that the DOJ recently announced that out of the US$4.5 billion wrongfully diverted from 1MDB, the value of assets that the DOJ was seeking to forfeit through its numerous civil forfeiture complaints filed from 2016 to 2019 was estimated at US$1.7 billion", he said. He has pleaded not guilty.

Low, whose whereabouts are unknown, has consistently denied wrongdoing through spokesmen.



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