According to website Law 360, a New York federal judge has prevented prosecutors from presenting evidence of payments allegedly made by Macau billionaire Ng Lap Seng to a former U.S. lawmaker.
The website claimed that the judge rejected the evidence on the basis that it might put the defendant, Ng, at risk of prejudice. He said that brining up the issue of foreign political financing could be detrimental to the real estate mogul, given the accusations of Russian meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
Accordingly, the judge allegedly blocked prosecutors from mentioning payments to the family of ex-lawmaker Jesse Jackson Jr. In 2013, Jackson pled guilty to campaign finance fraud.
The local billionaire has been linked to other controversial campaigns involving U.S. politicians. He was famously involved in a fundraising scandal in the 1990s involving the Democratic presidential campaign of Bill Clinton.
Ng was suspected to be the alleged secret source of foreign money in Clinton’s campaign scandal, though was not charged with a crime during the investigation.
Ng was arrested in September 2015 over several charges including attempting to bribe UN officials, money laundering and tax evasion.
Among other charges, he has been accused of paying USD500,000 in bribes to former UN General Assembly President John Ashe, who died last year under mysterious circumstances while awaiting trial.
The objective behind the alleged bribery was to secure Ashe’s support for a U.N.-backed conference center in Macau, which would be constructed by Ng’s real estate company, Sun Kian Ip Group, and would allegedly serve as his legacy in the MSAR.