Politician on Charges Commits Suicide

Safiya Charles / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Bill Nojay, who killed himself on Friday. Supplied

New York State Assemblyman Bill Nojay committed suicide by gunshot on Friday morning ahead of an FBI investigation into allegations of fraud in the US and Cambodia.
 
Mr. Nojay was slated to appear in US District Court Friday afternoon to face fraud charges in relation to a trust fund he handled as an attorney, but contacted his lawyer that morning and confessed his planned to end his life.
 
By the time police arrived at the scene, it was too late. The responding officer witnessed Mr. Nojay, who was sitting in a parked car, take his own life just steps away from his family’s burial plot in Rochester, New York.
 
In recent years the assemblyman had been dogged by copious allegations of fraud.
 
A case in 2013 was brought against him and three others in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court by Eng Lykuong. The wealthy dentist claimed the men had convinced her to invest in AKRA Agriculture Partners, a rice exporting company, and then subsequently swindled her out of $1 million.
 
In exchange for her hefty investment in the agri-exporting company, Ms. Lykuong was told she and her daughter would receive US citizenship. Eight months later, she was told the company had folded. Mr. Nojay denied any wrongdoing.
 
Rochester newspaper The Democrat & Chronicle reported that the politician was also being probed as the central figure in an FBI investigation into the misuse of funds related to a $1.3 billion school modernization project within the city, in addition to the fraud-related charges he was to face in federal court on Friday.
 
The Republican assemblyman was elected in 2012 and was an avid Donald Trump supporter who campaigned actively for the party’s presidential nominee. Mr. Nojay faced a primary election on Tuesday and according to The Democrat & Chronicle, will still appear on the primary ballot.
 
If he wins, party leaders will have 10 days to nominate a replacement for the November election.

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