Macau Billionaire Loses U.S. Appeal Of U.N.-Related Bribery Conviction

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A U.S. appeals court on Friday rejected billionaire Macau real estate developer Ng Lap Seng’s request to throw out his conviction and four-year prison sentence for bribing two U.N. ambassadors to help him build a multibillion-dollar conference center.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said federal bribery laws covered Ng’s suspect payments, despite his contention that they excluded public entities such as the United Nations.

It also said the trial judge erred in instructing jurors that prosecutors needed to show that Ng intended to influence an “official act,” but the error was harmless because the burden of proof was actually lower, and a properly instructed jury would “certainly” have found Ng guilty.

Paul Clement, a lawyer handling Ng’s appeal, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in Manhattan declined to comment.

Ng, 71, had been convicted in July 2017 on all six counts he faced, including bribery, money laundering and corruption, after a four-week trial.

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