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In 1st UN Bribery Case, SSN Lorenzo Admits Bribed Ashe, DPI UNreformed, UN Covers Up

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, April 28 – In the UN bribery case against Macau-based businessman Ng Lap Seng, former South South News chief and diplomat Francis Lorenzo has now expanded his guilty plea to admit paying bribes to now deceased President of the UN General Assembly John Ashe, and soliciting bribes from Ng. Lorenzo will testify against Ng, whose motion to dismiss the case has been denied (although his statement to the FBI will be suppressed). The corruption into which the UN sank during the tenure of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, whose head of the Department of Public Information Cristina Gallach did no due diligence as Ng bought illegal events in the UN and even the UN's slavery memorial, and DPI's censorship of and threats against the Press which reports on the Ng and South South News case has yet to be addressed or even stopped. This has been raised to the top of the Secretariat. Ng's associate Jeff Yin has also pleaded guilty to working to violate UN tax laws with South South News. The UN Department of Public Information evicted and still restricts Inner City Press for seeking to cover UN links to South South News; this month DPI has refused to explain the basis. On April 12 when Inner City Press about the UN's holdover spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the guilty plea, he said SSN is "no longer" at the UN, as if that resolved it. It doesn't, and that has been raised. Video here; from the UN transcript: Inner City Press: question about this Ng Lap Seng, previously John Ashe, case.  There’s been now a guilty plea by John Ashe’s lone remaining co-defendant, Jeffrey Yin.  And in his guilty plea, he states that South-South News intentionally paid him in cash in order to evade US tax laws.  That’s what he’s pled guilty to. Given the supposed inquiry by the UN, what’s the response?  It’s not a matter of waiting until the end of the case.  This is a…

Spokesman:  My understanding is South-South News is no longer accredited as a news organization to the UN.

  Under Dujarric, South South News content was included in UN TV webcast and archives; Dujarric threw Inner City Press out of the UN Press Briefing Room for seeking to cover South South News payees in the UN, and worked on the UN misleading memo to the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Paragraph 9 and 10, here.

  Ng is set for trial, but now an adjournment has been granted to May. The letter motion by Ng Lap Seng's lawyers cites a need to review "many thousands of pages of banking records, emails and other documents related to Jeff Yin, Mr.
Ng, Vivian Wang, SKI, and SSN, among others. We are still awaiting production of voluminous
documents, including information contained in DVDs and CDs seized from Vivian Wang’s
residence, tax information for a number of alleged co-conspirators, South South News
documents, phone records, and additional Ashe emails." So is the UN even checking out these new records, to reform itself? It seems not. On April 7 Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here:

Inner City Press: in what's now called the Ng Lap Seng case and used to be the John Ashe case, there's been a request for an extension.  The reason I'm asking you about it is the letter from the lawyers for Ng Lap Seng cite a new trove of information that's been given to them, partially, and part of this involves documents of South-South News and also John Ashe e-mails.

And, since both of these may concern the very topics that the UN conducted its audit into, I wanted to know… I hear this line generally you're going to, like, wait till the end of the case or you're going to monitor the case, but are, is the UN system, whether OLA or, ever going to take a look at these documents to see what it, as it reflects to the need for UN reform or who did what here?

Spokesman:  I think, obviously, we will, we'll see what happens at the end, and if we need to take, if it needs to impact the investigations that have already done, we'll take a look at it.  And we are, as a duty, cooperating with the relevant judicial authorities.

   South South News, tellingly, was never even downgraded by the UN Department of Public Information. But for seeking to cover a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room with a South South News / Ng Lap Seng link, DPI evicted Inner City Press without hearing or appeal, and keeps it restricted still. Today's UN is corrupt, and even if Ng's trial is slightly delayed to review more about South South News and John Ashe, the need for reform, if necessary by stringent budgets cuts, will becoming ever more clear. Watch this site.

 Ng's co-defendant Jeff C. Yin has requested another delay in order to consider a plea offer. His lawyers first wrote to the court: "In the evening of Wednesday, March 22, 2017, the government conveyed a written plea offer to Mr. Yin with a deadline set for Tuesday, March 28, at 5:00 p.m. The plea is complex and involves civil tax assessments and liabilities, which are
outside of the Federal Defenders criminal defense expertise. Yesterday we asked the government for additional time to consider and discuss the plea with Mr. Yin. The government gave us only 24 more hours, until Wednesday March 29, 2017, at 5:00 p.m., stating that it could not provide more time because it had two trial deadlines the week of April 3 to focus on.
In order for us to fulfill our constitutional obligations to provide the effective assistance of counsel during plea negotiations and to effectively advise Mr. Yin about this plea offer, we need additional time. We, therefore, request that the Court extend the April 3 deadlines by one week." This as now-ex UN official Cristina Gallach, who did no due diligence on Ng's purchase of UN events and access, who got a ghoulish "farewell toast" from UN scribes on March 30, then left. But the DPI Officer in Charge, who has received formal requests, has yet to act.

 In an order issued March 9 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, Ng Lap Seng's attempts to further delay were rejected and the schedule set: list of exhibits by April 17, lists of witnesses by May 1. Which of these, in both categories, will come from the UN?

 At the UN, Gallach who did no due diligence on Ng Lap Seng (audit at Paragraphs 37-40 and 20b) still has what's described as Ng's bribery conduit South South News in its UN office, while she evicted and still restrict Inner City Press which for reported on Ng at the UN.

 On February 20, lawyers for Ng Lap Seng objected to the UN giving fewer documents than requested, and now, only to the government. Not only has the UN become even less cooperative on this case involving bribery in the UN - its holdover spokespeople won't answer basic questions about it. From the February 21 UN Transcript:

Inner City Press: this question has to do with this Ng Lap Seng case, which is moving towards trial.  There was a letter filed yesterday by the defense, by the lawyer for Ng Lap Seng, saying that they are disputing both that the UN has fully complied with the discovery request, and they're questioning why the discovery wasn't given to them as the defendant, but was instead given to the Government, whereas prior documents had been given directly to the defense.  And they say it hasn't been explained to them.  So, what I'm wondering is, given that the UN talks about due process, et cetera, ask OLA [Office for Legal Affairs], given this public disputing of the UN complying and cooperating with the bribery case and giving the documents to the defendant that has requested them, what explains this change?

Deputy Spokesman:  Well, I wouldn't have any comment about what other lawyers are saying on this, beyond saying that the United Nations has been complying with the requests made in this case.

Inner City Press: OK, can you confirm that the UN was providing in the past, it's the documents requested to the defense and has now changed policies and is only providing them to the Government, and what explains that?

Deputy Spokesman:  What I can say is, on this matter, as we've been stating in the past and I'll reiterate it, that the requests that come from the judicial authorities in this case are ones that we are complying with.

  On January 30 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, US Attorney Preet Bhahara filed more detailed information including concerning South South News, described as Ng's bribery conduit, which Gallach has nevertheless left in its UN office while evicting and restricting Inner City Press which asked her about it, and her own connection to Ng Lap Seng's South South Awards.

  Bhahara's filing, calling South South News "NGO-1," states as to co-defendant Jeff C. Yin:

"the defendant agreed to and did cause bribe payments from NGO-1, meant for the Dominican Ambassador [Francis Lorenzo, who has pleaded guilty], to be made to (i) third-parties to cover the Dominican Ambassador’s personal expenses (e.g., his mortgage, see Bates 0000569362-0000569363, 0000132016-0000132017), and (ii) family members of the Dominican Ambassador, specifically, his siblings (who are identified in discovery, e.g., Bates 0001003479-0001003770, 0001031249-0001031288)....

the defendant both caused NGO-1 to pay him in cash (or checks made out to cash or petty cash) and made false and/or misleading statements to his accountant concerning the amount and source of his income. More specifically, we expect that the evidence will show that (a) with respect to his tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014, the defendant informed his accountant of income he received from the Macau Real Estate Development Company while entirely omitting income he received from NGO-1, thereby causing his accountant to file tax returns that omitted the defendant’s income from
NGO-1 for these years."

   Gallach's DPI leaves NGO-1 in its UN office, while continuing to restrict Inner City Press more than a year after it sought to cover a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room to see the relationship between Ng's bribery vehicle and Gallach's and DPI's and apparently the 38th floor's correspondents "interlocutor." This is disgusting.

(As is Gallach promoting herself attending - for the UN! - a "Global Festival of Ideas" event in March 2017, here. Is the "idea" corruption? Or censorship?)

 But Inner City Press can't even ASK the UN about this on February 1, because the UN's noon briefing is canceled due to an 11 am "press encounter" with Antonio Guterres, who is unlikely to address, or take Press questions on, this UN corruption case. The old guard, implicated, is polluting the new administration.

  On January 27 in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York an order issued sealing but setting a date to unseal "UN Documents" 1 and 2.  Here is the UN's own Office of Internal Oversight Services audit of aspects of Ng Lap Seng's purchase of the UN, see esp Paragraphs 37-40 and 20b regarding Gallach.

  Gallach's Department of Public of Information on January 27 prevented Inner City Press from covering a Holocaust event by new UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, here.

Gallach's no due process eviction and ongoing restriction of Inner City Press was done with a blatant conflict of interest: she is named in the audit (as USG of DPI), and Inner City Press had asked her about her links with Ng Lap Seng.

(In other Ng Lap Seng diplomatic fall-out related investigations, Dominica's Roosevelt Skerrit, who attended Ng's scam Macau "UN" event, is under fire for other passports now more timely than ever, here.)

  There is of course a second UN-related bribery case getting started, against Ban Ki-moon's brother Ban Ki Sang and nephew Dennis Bahn, who used the UN General Assembly and UNSG Ban Ki-moon's name for real estate fraud. And here, from South Korea.

 Here in the first of the two UN bribery cases, against Ng Lap Seng, is from the January 27 SDNY United States District Judge's order:

"The Government requested and I granted protective orders delaying the production by the Government of two documents produced to the Government by the United Nations. The first protective order related to a document discussed during the status conference held on December
8, 2016, (“UN Document #1”) and the second related to a document referenced in the Government’s email to the defense dated January 18, 2017, (“UN Document #2”).

During the December 8 conference, I stated that I would review UN Document #1 again to “make a determination whether six weeks is enough time” for the production of that document in advance of trial. (Doc. 350 at 10:15-17.) I have taken another look at UN Document #1 and have reviewed UN Document #2 to determine how much time in advance of trial the Government should produce these documents to the defense."

  We'll have more on this.

As the UN bribery scandal gathered force Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for an audit by the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services of Sheri Yan's Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF), David Ng Lap Seng's Sun Kian Ip Group and its affiliates including the "World Harmony Foundation" and South South News, among others.

  The audit, completed early this year but first put online by Inner City Press, directly criticizes Cristina Gallach, the Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, Paragraphs 37-40 -- and 20b.

This last concerns the lack of any due diligence by the UN Department of Public Information under Under Secretary General Cristina Gallach of Ng Lap Seng's GWF's sponsorship of the “Ark of Return” ceremony.

  Now in December Ng has tried to get the superseding indictment dismissed, and the US government has opposed it.

The government writes, “The key players remain the same (the defendant as the bribepayer and Yin as his primary co-conspirator and deputy, the Antiguan Ambassador as the recipient of bribes, and the Dominican Ambassador as a party who was paid by the defendant and served his interests); the defendant’s alleged goals remain the same (namely, the obtaining of formal UN support for the Macau Conference Center); and the means and methods allegedly used by the defendant remain the same (including the defendant’s use of NGO-1 to funnel bribe payments).”

   NGO-1, South South News, remains in its UN office, while Inner City Press which has been covering this case, and UN links to it, was evicted and remains restricted 10 months later. When Inner group which put Ban together with Ng Lap Seng and Vivian Wang at Cipriani on 42 Street, tuxedo-ed UN/CA thugs came out and smashed Inner City Press' Periscope-broadcasting camera, video here.

  Ban was already selling the UN as far back as 2009:

From October 23, 2009, this Inner City Press report concerning Ng Lap Seng's partner Frank Liu, buying the UN under “unblemished” Ban Ki-moon:

“UNITED NATIONS, October 23 -- After announcing Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's participation in a UN Day concert later in the day, Ban's Associate Spokesperson Farhan Haq declined to answer Inner City Press' questions about whether the concert's sponsors, including the World Harmony Foundation, Frank Liu and/or the World Eminence Chinese Business Forum, had receive payments from businessmen, and if any of these were scheduled for photo-op with Mr. Ban.

  Haq, in a nearly empty noon press briefing with no time constraints, nevertheless said that the questions would be answered at another press conference on Friday afternoon, "if you are there." ... An October 23 press release by the World Harmony Foundation states that "Secretary General Ban Ki-moon... tolled the bell signifying world harmony."

The press release was handed to Inner City Press at a surreal breakfast forum held by the WECBA and Frank Liu in Room 6 of the UN's Delegates' Dining Room. A businessman receiving an award stood at the front at a podium with the UN flag and intoned, "please remember that Chinese businessmen are the kindest people in the world."

Another speaker said that more people dying every year from obesity than hunger, and urged those in the audience not to eat too much. The Ambassador of the Dominican Republic urged the assembled businessmen to join the UN Global Compact.”

 That would be Francis Lorenzo, of South South News, who has pleaded guilty. (Under Gallach, South South News still has its UN office, while Inner City Press reporting on it remains evicted).

In late November a superceding indictment was filed which makes Gallach's malfeasance even clearer. The indictment now includes the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and specifies that South South News (NGO-1), which Gallach has left in its office while evicting Inner City Press which asked her about her connection to them, paid Ng Lap Seng's assistant in cash in order to evade taxes.

  The “honorary president” of South South News, who has pleaded guilty, was also involved in tax evasion. How corrupt can the UN be, to take no action on this bribery and tax evasion which corrupted the UN, while eviciting and restricting the investigative Press which asked about it? Gallach Must Go.


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