U.S. v. Julia Vivi Wang, 16-mj-01798-UA (S.D.N.Y. 2016)
John W. Ashe, Francis Lorenzo, Ng Lap Seng, Jeff C. Yin, Heidi Hong Piao
The DOJ did not charge Wang with bribery, but instead charged her with money laundering.
Official from the United Nations; Antiguan official.
Julia Vivi Wang, a U.S. citizen, served as the Vice President of a non-governmental organization (“NGO-1”) in New York in or around 2010. Wang served as the Vice President of a second non-governmental organization (“NGO-2”), which shared an office and multiple employees with NGO-1.
According to court documents, the DOJ obtained the substance of the allegations from Francis Lorenzo, a cooperating witness who pleaded guilty to charges related to a bribery and money laundering scheme involving the U.N. Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, John Ashe. Wang allegedly paid Ashe and Lorenzo, the then-U.N. Deputy Permanent Representative for the Dominican Republic, at least $500,000 on behalf of Wang’s late husband and an unnamed Chinese businessman. According to the indictment, the bribes were paid to purchase Antiguan diplomatic positions for Wang’s late husband and Chinese businessman.
Wang allegedly used U.S. bank accounts and affiliated bank accounts of NGO-2 to funnel and conceal the bribes. According to the indictment, Wang received the funds from China and paid Ashe through the NGO-2 bank accounts to an account in Trinidad.
On March 16, 2016, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York filed charges against Wang for conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. Wang was arrested on March 18, 2016.