NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former Goldman Sachs banker charged in connection with a multibillion-dollar scandal at Malaysia’s state investment fund 1MDB won a Brooklyn judge’s permission to replace his ankle monitor with a smaller one so he can jog more comfortably.
Federal prosecutors objected to the smaller ankle monitor, arguing that the former head of investment banking for Goldman Sachs in Malaysia could become a greater flight risk.
Lawyers for Roger Ng said the “cumbersome and heavy nature” of the GPS monitoring device, which constantly streamed Ng’s location to authorities, made it uncomfortable for Ng to run, which is his preferred method of exercise.
U.S. District Judge Margo Brodie ruled the request to switch to the smaller device, which notifies authorities only when Ng leaves and returns to his home, was reasonable, in part because Ng has followed his probation terms for the past two years.
Ng is on probation pending trial in Brooklyn federal court where he stands accused of conspiring to violate an anti-bribery law and launder money. Ng pleaded not guilty to those charges last December.
Goldman Sachs helped sell $6.5 billion of bonds for 1MDB, which former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak launched over a decade ago to promote economic development.
U.S. and Malaysian authorities said fund officials and accomplices looted some of the money to spend on luxuries and finance Hollywood films, while Goldman bankers paid more than $1.6 billion in bribes to officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi for 1MDB business.
Tim Leissner, another former Goldman banker, pleaded guilty in 2018 over his role in the scandal. He has not been sentenced.
In May 2019, Ng was extradited from Malaysia to the United States, where he was released in exchange for a $20 million bond and required to wear an ankle bracelet. https://reut.rs/3wPGRUR
The case is U.S. v. Ng, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, No. 18-cr-00538.
(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Richard Chang)