Billionaire Chinese real estate developer Ng Lap Seng was sentenced to four years in prison Friday for bribing diplomats, including the former president of the United Nations, to build a multibillion-dollar conference center in Macau.
Seng, 69, paid bribes to officials in what was the worst corruption case at the United Nations since the Iraqi oil-for-food scandal more than 20 years ago, according to the New York Times.
The developer hoped the conference center – which would have been built by his company, Sun Kian Ip Group – would help transform Macau into the “Geneva of Asia.”
Instead, he’ll forfeit $1.5 million – a figure that represents the assets used in his crimes – and pay a $1 million fine, according to the Times.
“Billionaire Ng Lap Seng corrupted the highest levels of the United Nations in pursuit of a multibillion-dollar real estate deal in Macau,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the interim United States attorney for New York’s Southern District, said in a statement. “Ng exploited a center for international diplomacy as an instrument for his greedy intentions.
Seng had been under house arrest at his home at 240 East 47th Street. [NYT] – Rich Bockmann