Ex-UN President John Ashe arrested in $500G bribery scheme

Former United Nations General Assembly President John Ashe accepted more than $500,000 in bribes from Chinese businesses in exchange for help obtaining lucrative investments and government contracts, according to federal court documents unsealed Tuesday, sparking an investigation into whether bribery is “business as usual at the U.N.”

In exchange for the money, federal prosecutors say Ashe used his position as Permanent Resident to the United Nations for Antigua and Barbuda and General Assembly head to introduce a U.N. document in support of a real estate project being developed by Chinese billionaire Ng Lap Seng.

Prosecutors say some of the bribe money was used to pay for Ashe’s family vacation and to construct a basketball court at his home in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. He opened two bank accounts to receive the funds and then underreported his income by more than $1.2 million, officials said.