Sheri Yan, Woman In Alleged John Ashe Bribe Scheme Made Rambling Speech At United Nations

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Sheri Yan and John Ashe

Sheri Yan, the Vice Chairman of Global Sustainability Foundation (GSF) who was arrested and charged for her role in an alleged scheme by wealthy Chinese business executives that paid millions of dollars to John Ashe, a former President of the United Nations General Assembly, delivered a short rambling speech at the United Nations last year when GSF was launched.

Ms. Yan spoke for about seven minutes at an event called the Woman Leaders Forum, on September 22, 2014 at the U.N. headquarters addressing an audience of women from around the world.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also released a statement for the conference.

"For many days I've been thinking what should I say?" Ms. Sheri Yan, said.  She went on to say that at 1AM the night before her speech her team was still working on the presentation. She said she also got a call from her daughter who attends a U.S. college to reassure her about her presentation.

"'You can do it,' 'you can do it'" she said her daughter reassured her.  Ms. Yan ended up not saying much during her  seven minutes, apart from suggesting that mothers should give their daughters a one "free gift" and music, trust, and comfort. 

The rest of the presentation was not very coherent and she teared up towards the end.

She did still get a standing ovation at the end and several journalists crowded around to take her picture after she spoke.

Later during a gala celebration for the foundation on the same day at the U.N. Ashe himself also spoke paying tribute to Sheri Yan and the GSF, which he said would play a vital role together with the United Nation's in terms of helping the world body realize some of the global development targets.

Ashe said it would be good for the founders and board members of GSF to come back in a year or two and answer the question: "What have you done for me lately?"
 

Later during a gala celebration for the foundation on the same day at the U.N. Ashe himself also spoke paying tribute to Sheri Yan and the GSF, which he said would play a vital role together with the United Nation's in terms of helping the world body realize some of the global development targets.

Ashe said it would be good for people to ask this question of the foundation two years from now: "What have you done for me lately?"

"On that happy note please enjoy the evening," he said. 

But according to Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District, GSF was one of at least two non-governmental organizations used to conceal the bribe payments totaling $1.3 million made to Ashe in return for promoting the business interests of Chinese executives through the United Nations and to Caribbean leaders.

Ashe also is listed on the board of GSF. Additionally, Edith Kutesa, wife of Sam Kutesa, the PGA who succeeded Ashe and whose term ended in September, is listed as the Vice Chair. In July Ms. Yan traveled to China with Mr. and Mrs. Kutesa to meet with a businessman named Ruiyun Wang, whom Kutesa had hosted on May 6 in his U.N. PGA offices.

When Ms Yan arranged for two trips to China for Mr. Ashe while he was PGA, he demanded $400,000 total.

The U.S. Attorney's investigation continues and this week he hinted that there could be more arrests.

 

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