Today US authorities charged former United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe with accepting over a million dollars in bribes from Chinese real estate mogul Ng Lap Seng in exchange for lucrative government contracts.
More via Fox News:
In exchange for the money, federal prosecutors say Ashe used his position as Permanent Resident to the United Nations for Antigua and Barbuda and General Assembly head to introduce a U.N. document in support of a real estate project being developed by Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng.
Prosecutors say some of the bribe money was used to pay for Ashe’s family vacation and to construct a basketball court at his home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. He opened two bank accounts to receive the funds and then underreported his income by more than $1.2 million, officials said.
“There is a lot more work to do,” Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, told reporters on Tuesday when asked about the probe. He said more charges were possible, adding, “We will be asking the question: Is bribery business as usual at the U.N.?”
Ashe was arrested today; Ng was already being held, and five others have also been arrested in connection with the scheme. At least one other diplomat, Francis Lorenzo of the Dominican Republic, is also being held, along with two naturalized citizens who were living in China and who officials suspect were helping push the deals through.