Chinese billionaire and real estate mogul Ng Lap Seng is being held in federal custody in New York City without bail, with authorities accusing him of lying about plans for $4.5 million in cash that he recently flew into the U.S. aboard private jets.
Incarcerated since Saturday, Seng failed to convince a magistrate judge Monday that he would return to court if released from custody. Seng’s lawyer claims his client’s arrest resulted from a misunderstanding.
A prominent real estate developer based on the island and gambling destination of Macau, Seng was at the center of a Democratic campaign fundraising scandal two decades ago, according to the Associated Press.
In 1998, a Senate committee reported that he sent over $1.1 million to a one-time Little Rock, Arkansas restaurant owner, who in turn forward hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee.
Seng also visited the White House 10 times between 1994 and 1996, during the Clinton administration. [AP] – Rey Mashayekhi