Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Jho Low maintains innocence after United States indictment

On Oct 26 2018 it was reported that the US Department of Justice and Global One Aviation had jointly asked the court's permission to sell the Bombardier Global 5000 jet aircraft Jho Low contacted Mahathir's adviser last week to seek immunity: Report
Andrew Cummings | 02 November, 2018, 09:57

A lawyer says the noose is tightening around Low Taek Jho following the charges made in the U.S. against the fugitive businessman for conspiring with a former Goldman Sachs banker to launder billions of dollars allegedly stolen from 1MDB.

The criminal indictment, unsealed in NY, also charged Jho Low and Ng Chong Hwa, a former Goldman Sachs banker also known as Roger Ng, with paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials. At that point, according to a Reuters report, Mr. Vella and his co-head were replaced by another veteran Goldman banker. The 93-year-old is now prime minister and reopened the probe into the 1MDB fund. Police have also seized hundreds of luxury handbags, jewelry and cash - worth more than $266 million - during raids on apartments linked to Najib's family.

Prosecutors have previously gone after assets they claim were tainted by monies stolen from hedge fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd - including targeting profits from the film The Wolf of Wall Street, a Bombardier jet, New York City and Los Angeles real estate, and works by Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Some of those allegations were described in civil forfeiture complaints filed by federal prosecutors in Los Angeles previous year. Some of the laundered funds were then allegedly used to pay bribes to obtain business for Goldman.

At least six countries, including Malaysia, the United States and Switzerland, have been investigating alleged thefts from 1MDB.

Prosecutors say Low, Ng, and Leissner conspired to launder the proceeds of fraud involving 1MDB through the US financial system.

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While the Justice Department has been investigating the 1MDB scandal for some time and has pursued civil lawsuits, these are the first criminal charges the department has brought against individuals related to the 1MDB scandal, according to the Wall Street Journal, which brought global attention to the scandal itself in 2015. Malaysia is also seeking to recover $1.46 billion it has paid so far. It relied primarily on debt to fund investment and economic development projects and was overseen by senior Malaysian government officials, according to court records.

Goldman has repeatedly played down its role in the scandal, saying it was unaware of how money from the fund was being used.

The Telegraph has contacted lawyers for Mr Low, who has been at large since July, and Mr Leissner but has not yet received a response.

The BBC has contacted Goldman Sachs for comment. A representative for Mr.

Mr. Leissner, who worked closely with the Malaysian fund, had been in plea talks with federal prosecutor for some time.

Mr Leissner, who served as Goldman's South East Asia chairman and a participating managing director, has pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and violate USA anti-bribery laws. Both Leissner and Ng departed the bank over 12 months ago.

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