Former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng, shown here in February 2022, was sentenced to 10 years in prison

New York (AFP) - A US judge in New York on Thursday sentenced former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng to 10 years in prison following his conviction in the massive 1MDB bribery scandal.

A New York jury in April 2022 found Ng guilty in the scheme involving the state-owned Malaysian investment fund 1MDB following testimony from Tim Leissner, another former Goldman Sachs banker and a co-conspirator.

A forfeiture amount will be determined later, the Department of Justice said in a press release.

“Roger Ng was a central player in a brazen and audacious scheme that not only victimized the people of Malaysia, but also risked undermining the public’s confidence in governments, markets, businesses and other institutions on a global scale,” said US Attorney Breon Peace.

“Today’s sentence serves as a just punishment for the defendant’s crimes and a warning that there is a significant price to pay for corporate corruption.”

The 1MDB fund was set up to promote the Malaysian economy, but was spectacularly looted in a scandal that roiled the country’s politics and marred Goldman’s reputation.

Ng and his co-conspirators paid more than $1 billion in bribes to government officials to secure three large bond transactions for Goldman with 1MDB, according to the US Department of Justice.

Some of the money went to luxury items, such as a $51 million Jean-Michael Basquiat painting and millions of dollars in Hermes handbags, the Justice Department said.

Leissner, who pleaded guilty in August 2018 to two criminal charges, is awaiting sentencing, DOJ said.

A third co-conspirator, Low Taek Jho, remains at large, the DOJ said.

In October 2020, Goldman agreed to pay $2.9 billion in penalties in a DOJ settlement that included a guilty plea in US court by a Malaysian unit of the bank.