WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court rejected an appeal Monday from a Chinese billionaire who was convicted of bribing United Nations officials to buy their support for a proposed U.N. center in Macau that was never built.

The justices did not comment, leaving in place the bribery conviction of Ng Lap Seng, one of China’s richest men. The 71-year-old Ng is serving a federal prison sentence.

Prosecutors persuaded jurors at Ng’s 2017 trial in New York that he paid more than $1.7 million in bribes in an effort to build a center to serve struggling Southern Hemisphere nations.

Paul Clement, Ng’s Supreme Court lawyer, argued that his client was seeking formal support for a center he intended to build for free. “The object of this alleged bribery was not to funnel UN funds to petitioner, but very nearly the opposite,” Clement wrote.