US Prosecutors have made another arrest has been made in the John Ashe Bribery Scandal.
Chinese-born executive Julia Vivi Wang was charged on Friday with paying at least $500,000 in bribes to buy diplomatic positions with the government of Antigua for her husband and another man.
The bribe was “solicited and facilitated” by John W. Ashe, who served as General Assembly president for one year starting in September 2013, and Francis Lorenzo, a deputy permanent representative to the United Nations for the Dominican Republic, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Federal District Court in Manhattan on Friday.
According to a New York Times report, Wang, who is a 55 year old naturalized United States citizen from China, came two days after Lorenzo, who was suspended from his post, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, bribery and other counts, and agreed to cooperate with the investigation, according to his plea agreement.
The complaint describes Ms. Wang as having served as vice president of an organization in New York, which she founded with her husband, which promotes sustainable development and the United Nation’s development goals.
Ms. Wang and her husband, who is not named in the complaint, told Mr. Lorenzo that they wanted to obtain an official post, like consul or envoy, because “they viewed such a position as a business opportunity.”
According to a complaint, signed by Jason P. Alberts, a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the couple was willing to pay for such positions which led to them paying Lorenzo hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for his help.
The report also noted that Former Antiguan Ambassador John Ashe was told about the proposal in which he advised Lorenzo hat in exchange for granting the diplomatic posts, at least some of the money would be used to pay off one or more Antiguan officials, including the then prime minister of Antigua.
The claim also detail that Ashe agreed via email in March 2013, that Antigua was going to open an “investment office” in Hong Kong and that he would be appointed economic envoy/honorary consul.
Wang, who was charged with conspiracy and money laundering, was released on a $1.5 million bail, and must remain at her New York residence as a part of her bail arrangements.