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NEW YORK – Former Goldman Sachs Group banker Roger Ng was granted a last-minute postponement of his 10-year prison sentence for his role in the looting of Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Ng, who was scheduled to begin serving his sentence Aug 7, was on Friday allowed to delay his surrender for 30 days to allow for talks between the US and Malaysian governments about his possible return to the South-east Asian nation to assist in its 1MDB probe.

If he is allowed to return to Malaysia, Ng will be free for even longer, a fact which prosecutors opposed to the delay stressed in court at a hearing before US District Judge Margo Brodie in Brooklyn, New York.

“He wants to go back to Malaysia where he will continue to be free,” Assistant US Attorney Drew Rolle said. 

The prosecutor said there was a strong public interest in Ng starting his sentence immediately and that the former banker could help the Malaysian government while he was in custody.

Lawyers for Ng, who had asked to postpone his surrender by 45 days, said the Malaysian government was seeking Ng’s return under a previous agreement with the US.

“They want Mr Ng in Malaysia,” Mr Marc Agnifilo, a lawyer for Ng, told the judge during a hearing Friday morning. “They want to finish their case.”

Ng was convicted in April 2022 of conspiring with his former Goldman boss Tim Leissner and financier Jho Low in the multibillion-dollar looting of 1MDB. Prosecutors said Ng received millions of dollars in kickbacks from three bond deals Goldman Sachs arranged for 1MDB. 

The bank paid more than US$2.9 billion (S$3.8 billion), the largest penalty of its kind in US history, and more than US$5 billion globally for its role in the scheme.

Ng, who faces charges in Malaysia, was extradited to first face US prosecution. In asking Judge Brodie for leniency ahead of his March sentencing, Ng had said he suffered enough during six months he spent in a Malaysian prison before being sent to New York. He said he was held in squalid conditions, sometimes chained to 20 other inmates.

Mr Rolle said the US is in continued talks with Malaysia about how Ng can return after beginning to serve his sentence. “It is a process resolved by discussions between two sovereign governments,” the prosecutor said.

Judge Brodie granted the request to allow those discussions to continue between the two governments, noting that their interests “may not be aligned.”

“It really is up to the countries what they want to do and how they want to do it,” Brodie said.

Ng was previously granted a three-month delay to the start of his sentence. He had asked for that delay so he could spend more time with his wife and 10-year-old daughter, who had travelled to New York from Malaysia. BLOOMBERG Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng gets 30-day delay to 1MDB prison sentence

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