Published: Sat, November 03, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Jhlo Low, ex-Goldman bankers accused of laundering billions in stolen funds

Jhlo Low, ex-Goldman bankers accused of laundering billions in stolen funds

Low, who is also wanted in Malaysia and Singapore, contacted the top adviser to Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad last week to seek immunity, a report said.

Educated at Harrow, an elite British prep school, and later at Wharton, his family is said to have made its fortune in mining, trading and garment manufacturing.

A family friend of Mr Najib, Mr Low had no official role at 1MDB but had considerable influence over its dealings and was often in contact with Mr Najib, according to United States authorities. He said Low requested many things, including a meeting with him and Tun Dr Mahathir, and had attempted to contact him several times before.

He said he "finally landed on business because it was a good combination between the ability to influence change and also the ability to help people".

In its LinkedIn profile, Jynwel Capital describes itself as an worldwide private equity investment and advisory firm with 10-50 employees. "Low simply asks that the public keep an open mind regarding this case until all of the evidence comes to light, which he believes will vindicate him", a spokesman for Low, through his legal team, said in a statement on Thursday in response to the indictment.

Goldman Sachs, which made hundreds of millions from their work with the fund, denies any wrongdoing.

Ng and Leissner's efforts in the scheme dated to 2009, when they began cultivating a relationship with Low, who allegedly "worked as an intermediary in relation to 1MDB and other foreign government officials" but did not hold a formal position at 1MDB and was never employed by the government.

Goldman Sachs underwrote about US$6.5 billion in bonds issued by 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a sovereign wealth fund set up to help develop the country, according to the U.S. government.

The charges are the first arising from the epic corruption scandal that has roiled politics in Malaysia, leading to criminal charges against former Prime Minister Najib Razak.

A lawyer for Leissner could not immediately be reached for comment.

In earlier statements, Low said he would not "submit to any jurisdiction" where he could not get a fair trial, especially Malaysia.

Since the election, Malaysian authorities have brought 38 charges against Najib. 1MDB now staggers under enormous debt.

"They would like to get Jho Low to put him on trial but he is nowhere to be seen", Mahathir said Friday, referring to US authorities. We would also like to have him.

Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, the alleged mastermind behind the scheme to siphon billions of dollars from the fund, was charged in absentia. They say numerous transactions were done through shell companies, which often are used to obscure origins and destinations of illicit activities.

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 worldwide attention to the scandal itself in 2015. Low did not have an immediate comment.

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