Judge bans billionaire from getting private massages

A convicted real estate developer must give up private massages as a condition of staying at his luxury New York City apartment, a court has ruled.

Since being found guilty of bribing United Nations officials on 27 July, Macau-based billionaire Ng Lap Seng has been allowed to remain at his home while he awaits sentencing.

But district judge Vernon Broderick has ruled he can no longer close his bedroom door when his masseuse visits him.

Brendan Finn, manager of a security firm guarding the apartment 24 hours a day, told the court the masseuse visited Ng every other day for between four and 10 hours.

Read Also:  Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong guilty of bribery, jailed five years

Security guards had sometimes eaten food that she cooked, he added.

Judge Broderick ordered Mr Finn to enable prosecutors or investigators to view video feeds of rooms within Ng’s flat.

He also said all non-family guests will require court approval, and an interpreter must be present during the daytime so conversations can be monitored.

Ng was convicted after being found guilty of paying more than $1.7m (£1.31m) in bribes to gain support for a conference centre he planned to build in Macau.

Prosecutors said the billionaire dreamed of winning “fame and more fortune” by making Macau into the “Geneva of Asia.”

Read Also:  University makes tuition free for all medical students

He hoped the centre would pave the way for luxury housing, hotels, a shopping mall, marinas and a heliport, they added.

Ng’s charges carry a potential jail term lasting decades.

Judge Broderick approved his home arrest despite the objections of prosecutors, who said it was “difficult to imagine a defendant with a greater incentive to flee”.

Defence lawyer Andrew Genser argued Ng had no plans to skip bail, saying: “He hasn’t been sitting around trying to plot some escape plan.

“He has been plotting his appeal.”

Get more stories like this on Twitter and Telegram