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Heidi Hong Piao pleads guilty in scheme to bribe United Nations officials

A Chinese-American woman involved in an alleged scheme to bribe United Nations officials pleaded guilty on Thursday in federal court in Manhattan to conspiracy, money-laundering and other crimes.

Heidi Hong Piao, who was charged last year along with Macau billionaire Ng Lap Seng and former U.N. General Assembly president John Ashe, acknowledged during a brief hearing that she has agreed to cooperate with authorities as part of her plea deal.

Piao, 52, was accused of acting as a conduit for more than $800,000 in bribes from Chinese businessmen including a media executive to Ashe, in return for his help at the U.N. and with government officials in his home country of Antigua.

She pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy, money laundering, bribery and failure to disclose foreign bank accounts to tax authorities, and faces a maximum possible sentence of 60 years in prison.

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