The Wheel Of Justice Grinds Slower If You’re Rich

By on July 18, 2018

July 18, 2018

After a two month delay starting his four year sentence for bribery, billionaire Ng Lap Seng asked Judge Vernon S. Broderick of federal district court in Manhattan for an additional two months to wind up his “complex business affairs.” The government objected, arguing that Mr. Ng, 70, was trying “to put off prison as long as possible on the ground that he is a successful businessman.” The judge denied Ng’s request, but a last minute request for a medical postponement has further delayed his surrender. Ng is said to be worth $1.8 billion. Slowing the wheel of justice for the mega-rich is not without precedent. Nine years ago Judge Jed Rakoff granted defendant Marc S. Dreier a $10 million pre-trial bond, and allowed him to remain in his East Side apartment, secured by electronic monitoring and armed security guards, for whom he footed the bill. He later pleaded guilty to leading a scheme that defrauded investors of $700 million. Defending his decision, Judge Rakoff wrote that many kinds of bail conditions favor the rich, while conversely, other defendants were too poor to afford “even the most modest of bail bonds or financial conditions of release.” He called that a serious flaw in the system, but nevertheless, “not grounds to deny a constitutional right to someone who, for whatever reason, can provide reasonable assurances against flight.”

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The New York Times

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