A Chinese-born naturalized U.S. citizen reportedly pleaded guilty this week to violations of the FCPA related to a scheme to bribe the UN General Assembly’s former president. The citizen is a former executive of a media group that focused on promoting UN development goals, but she was accused of paying the bribe to secure diplomatic postings. She pleaded guilty this week in the SDNY to three counts, including violating and conspiring to violate the FCPA, as well as income tax fraud.
The charges relate to her payment of $500,000 to the former president in April 2013 in exchange for receiving a diplomatic posting within the government of Antigua, where the former president previously served as a UN representative. She is just the most recent in a line of other individuals who have faced FCPA repercussions for bribes paid to the former president (who died in 2016), including a Chinese real estate businessman, who was found guilty of paying the fromer president and another individual bribes worth at least $1 million, and a former head of a New York-based foundation who also pleaded guilty to paying the former president bribes in excess of $800,000. As part of the citizen's plea, she admitted that she had failed to report approximately $2 million in income to the IRS.
This guilty plea illustrates how prosecutors are able to unwind even complex bribery schemes by methodically targeting individual participants. The criminal charges against her were likely bolstered by the string of preceding bribery cases involving similar payments to the former president that likewise resulted in a guilty pleas and verdicts.