A Chinese billionaire was convicted Thursday of paying bribes to United Nations officials, including former General Assembly President John Ashe.
Real estate developer Ng Lap Seng, reputed to be one of the richest men in China, was convicted on six counts after a Manhattan federal jury found him guilty of bribing two UN ambassadors, including Ashe, to support a multibillion-dollar conference center he wanted to build in Macau.
Ng, 69, faces as much as 65 years in prison on the charges, including bribery, money laundering and corruption charges.
Ashe died ahead of trial after a barbell fell on his neck while working out in his Westchester home.
The feds relied instead on the testimony of Francis Lorenzo, the former UN ambassador to the Dominican Republic, at trial.
Before he died, Ashe was accused of accepting $500,000 in exchange for helping Ng. The feds said Ashe used his bribe money to build a basketball court at his home, and to splurge on other luxuries, including hand-tailored suits, Rolex watches and a BMW X5 SUV.
Acting Manhattan US Attorney Joon Kim said Ng’s conviction “should serve as a cautionary tale to all tempted to follow his path.”
“If you bring corruption to New York – whether to the State Capitol in Albany or to the halls of the U.N. General Assembly – your journey may very well end in a Manhattan federal courtroom, with a unanimous jury announcing your guilt,” Kim said.