Ex-Goldman banker Roger Ng: Malaysian jail ‘absolute hell’


Disgraced former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng said he lived through “absolute hell” during a six-month stint in a Malaysian prison riddled with vermin and disease, according to a recent court filing.

Ng, who was convicted last April for his role for the infamous $4.5 billion embezzlement scheme of Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, detailed his nightmarish experience in a letter to US District Judge Morgo Brodie filed in court last Saturday.

He spent time at the notorious Sungai Buloh prison about 25 miles from the capital Kuala Lumpur before being extradited to the US in May 2019.

“Six months in the Malaysian prison had a devastating effect mentally and physically,” Ng wrote. “Until today, I find myself reclusive socially as I continue to deal with this brutal and distressing experience. The time without sunlight and in isolation made me lose my mind and become frightful.”

Roger Ng
Roger Ng asked a US federal judge for leniency.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

The 51-year-old former managing director is seeking leniency ahead of his sentencing hearing on March 9. He was the only Goldman Sachs employee to face trial over the 1MDB scandal.

Ng faces up to 30 years in prison after being found guilty for conspiring to launder money and a pair of anti-bribery chargers.

He was convicted after a high-profile trial in which Tim Leissner, his former boss at Goldman Sachs, served as the star witness.

Ng said he was kept in solitary confinement for his first two weeks at Sungai Buloh prison and denied visits from his family members.

He described being locked in a cement cell “without windows, a bed, running water or plumbing” and forced to sleep on the floor, where he “hallucinated.”

The one-time high-flying banker said he was eventually given a “thin latex mattress,” but struggled to sleep because the lights were kept on in his cell around the clock.

The cramped space was “always damp and vermin infested” and Ng frequently fell ill.

Sungai Buloh prison
Ng described brutal conditions at the Sungai Buloh prison.
Facebook/Embajada de España en Malasia

At one point, Ng said he “tested positive for malaria and leptospirosis” – the latter being an infection that spreads through contact with rat urine. He claims to have lost “nearly 40%” of his body weight while “constantly vomiting and purging (blood)” during his fight with the illnesses.

“I knew that I was dying,” he wrote.

Ng also alleged that he was handcuffed to other prisoners “in a 20-person single long chain” ahead of court appearances.

Bloomberg was first to report on the filing.

Roger Ng
Roger Ng said he lost 40% of his body weight.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Prosecutors alleged that Ng worked with Leissner and the flamboyant Malaysian financier Jho Low to pilfer billions of dollars from the state fund – money they later used to fund a lavish lifestyle.

During the trial, the feds detailed how Ng used some of the stolen money to make extravagant purchases, such as $300,000 worth of jewelry and a $20,000 gold-plated hourglass. They also accused Ng’s wife of playing a key role in the scheme.

Tim Leissner
Ex-Goldman partner Tim Leissner testified against Roger Ng during his trial.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

Some of the money pilfered from the 1MDB fund was used to finance “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the star-studded film headlined by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Prosecutors also noted Low’s penchant to throw ritzy parties with celebrity guests. He purportedly paid massive sums to DiCaprio, actress Megan Fox, Kim Kardashian and others to make appearances at his events.

Leissner pleaded guilty to federal charges ahead of Ng’s trial. He is slated to be sentenced in September.

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