US Supreme Court rejects Ng Lap Seng bribery case appeal

The US Supreme Court has ruled against an appeal by local real estate developer Ng Lap Seng’s appeal to a four-year prison sentence handed for bribing United Nations officials, news agency Reuters reported.

Ng was convicted in 2017 on all six counts he faced, including bribery, money laundering and corruption, having already lost an appeal to the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The real estate developer was accused of paying more than US$1 million in bribes to John Ashe, a former U.N. General Assembly president and ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda, and Francis Lorenzo, a former deputy ambassador from the Dominican Republic, for lobbying in favour of a world conference center to be built in Macau.

The conference center – which was not built – would include hosting of an annual gala to support developing countries, and use it as a springboard for the development of luxury housing, hotels, marinas and a heliport to transform Macau into the “Geneva of Asia” and make him richer.

Lorenzo pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering and testified against Ng at his trial after agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 12.

Ashe was also criminally charged, but died accidentally at home in June 2016 after dropping a barbell on his neck.

Ng is currently carrying out his prison sentence in Allenwood, Pennsylvania, and is eligible for release in January 2022.