NEW YORK (AP) — For the second time in three decades, a billionaire Chinese real estate mogul is central to a scandal over whether his money was used to buy influence.
Authorities say in the 1990s, Ng Lap Seng (eeng-lap-sing) funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Democratic National Committee. He visited the White House at least 10 times and was photographed with then-President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Now, a federal prosecutor has charged him with playing a central role in a $1.3 million bribery scheme to corrupt a former president of the United Nations General Assembly.
His lawyer has said his arrest two weeks ago was a misunderstanding. Investigators say he wanted to secure his legacy by bribing his way to building a multibillion-dollar U.N.-connected conference center.