[JURIST] Former UN General Assembly president John Ashe was charged [complaint, PDF] Tuesday for allegedly taking part in a scheme to receive $1.3 million in bribes to conduct official actions supporting Chinese business interests. Ashe also previously served as UN Ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda. Deputy UN Ambassador for the Dominican Republic Francis Lorenzo and three other defendants were also charged [press release]. Ashe faces two counts of subscribing to false and fraudulent income tax returns.
The Attorney’s Office believes Ashe has been accepting bribes since 2011 facilitated by Lorenzo. According to the complaint, Lorenzo approached Ashe in 2010 to take part in the scheme. Lorenzo invited Ashe to Macau, China, to meet one of the other defendants, Ng Lap Seng, who was seeking support for a UN Macau Conference Center. In exchange for submitting reports to the UN in support conference center, Ashe allegedly began soliciting money from Ng. Lorenzo also hired Ashe’s wife to be a “climate change consultant” in his non-governmental organization. According to the US Attorney, Ashe also solicited other businessmen who wanted to invest with Antiguan government officials. He allegedly failed to report this income in his 2013 and 2014 income tax returns.