Interview with The Financial Times
Former Hong Kong home secretary Patrick Ho Chi-ping has been found guilty by a federal jury in New York on seven of the eight counts of international money laundering, conspiracy, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) on Wednesday.
The maximum penalty for each bribery count is five years’ imprisonment and 20 years for money laundering. Sentencing is scheduled on March 14, 2019.
In one scheme for which Mr. Ho was convicted, the businessmen offered $2 million in cash bribes “hidden within gift boxes” to Idriss Déby, the president of Chad, in the hope of gaining oil rights in the country, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the southern district of New York.
In a second scheme, Mr. Ho attempted to pay $500,000 in cash bribes to Yoweri Museveni, the president of Uganda, and facilitated a $500,000 bribe to be paid via New York wire transfers to an account designated by Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s minister of foreign affairs. At the time, Mr. Kutesa had just completed a term as the president of the United Nations General Assembly.
In an interview with the Financial Times, former U.S. Department of Justice’s banking integrity unit and now head of investigations for Guidehouse Inc. Claiborne (Clay) Porter, said “the big picture is that the government is prepared to go the long haul and take these cases to trial.”
The U.S. case against Mr. Ho followed several other cases in which the U.S. had taken action against Chinese activities it deemed illicit or in violation of sanctions.
The U.S. government is not afraid to touch the Chinese government’s third rail.”
Claiborne (Clay) Porter
Managing Director and Head of Investigations