World News

Chinese woman pleads guilty to U.S. bribery charges

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Chinese-born executive pleaded guilty on Wednesday in New York in connection with a U.S. bribery probe involving a former president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Julia Vivi Wang, 57, admitted to two counts of violating the federal Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, an anti-bribery law, and one count of submitting fraudulent tax returns, in a hearing before U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan.

Wang also entered a plea agreement under which she is expected to cooperate with prosecutors. A sentencing date has not been set. Her lawyer declined to comment after the hearing.

The defendant admitted to having wired $500,000 to win favours for her late husband and another man.

Prosecutors have said the bribe was solicited by John Ashe, a former U.N. ambassador from Antigua and Barbuda who was also General Assembly president.

Wang was a vice president of South-South News, a U.N.-focused media group, and International Organization for South-South Cooperation, which has said its mission is to advance U.N. development goals.

Ashe died in an accident at his home in June 2016.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Dan Grebler