UNITED NATIONS – Former UN General Assembly president John Ashe, who was accused in a corruption scandal, died of a heart attack on Wednesday, June 22, at the age of 61, officials said.
The US authorities arrested Ashe, who was General Assembly president for a year from September 2013, in October for allegedly accepting $1.3 million in bribes from a Chinese billionaire real estate mogul.
They also charged him with tax evasion. He had been in plea talks as recently as last month.
The current assembly president, Mogens Lykketoft, expressed his “sincere condolences” to Ashe’s family.
“Despite the many as yet unproven accusations made against him, Mr Ashe was for many years a hard-working and popular member of the diplomatic corps in New York and at the United Nations,” he said in a statement.
Ashe had represented Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations before presiding over the assembly.
His arrest was a major blow for the UN, which is seeking to promote corruption-free good governance worldwide.
A manager at one of the biggest hedge funds facing insider trading accusations was found dead Monday night in an apparent suicide less than a week after prosecutors filed charges against him, police announced.
Sanjay Valvani, a 44-year-old partner and money manager at Visium Asset Management LP in New York City, was charged last Wednesday with five counts including securities fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors said Valvani made at least $32 million from trades based on confidential tips about drug approvals. He pleaded not guilty.
His wife found him with a wound to his neck at their home in Brooklyn, police told Reuters. They said they recovered a knife and a suicide note. His attorneys, Barry Berke and Eric Tirschwell, called his death a “horrible tragedy that is difficult to comprehend.”
Valvani paid a former Food and Drug Administration employee to pass along tips about pending drug approvals from an ex-colleague, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said. He also accused Valvani of sending some of those tips to portfolio manager Christopher Plaford, who made his own illegal trades.
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