Ex-Goldman banker’s wife testifies in husband’s defence at 1MDB trial

Lim Hwee Bin says none of the millions to be transferred to her account by Tim Leissner’s wife Judy Chan was from 1MDB.

(MalaysiaNow) – The wife of former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng on Monday testified in her husband’s defence at a US trial over the looting of hundreds of millions of dollars from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund between 2009 and 2014.

Ng, Goldman’s former chief for Malaysia, is charged with conspiring to launder money and violate an anti-corruption law. Prosecutors say he helped his former boss Tim Leissner embezzle money from 1MDB, launder the proceeds and bribe officials to win business for Goldman.

Ng, 49, has pleaded not guilty. He argues that some US$35 million he received from Leissner, which prosecutors characterise as kickbacks from the scheme, was actually the proceeds of a legitimate business venture between the two men’s wives.

Ng’s wife, Lim Hwee Bin, testified on Monday that shortly after Ng began working for Leissner in the mid-2000s, she invested 48 million yuan – about US$6 million at the time – at a Chinese company owned by the family of Leissner’s wife, Judy Chan.

Lim’s testimony came on the second day of the defence’s case in the trial, which began in early February.

Lim said she and Chan had a falling out in 2011, and Chan told her to divest her share, which had appreciated substantially. In 2012, Chan told her she was ready to transfer US$26 million, Lim testified.

When asked by Ng’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo if the money Chan said she would send to Lim came from 1MDB, Lim replied, “Not at all.”

“It had to come from Judy and her family,” Lim said.

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