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Sunday 22 September 2019

US charges Malaysian financier in money laundering scheme

The charges are the first arising from a global scandal over the epic corruption scandal at the state investment fund known as 1MDB.

(PA)
(PA)

By Eric Tucker, Associated Press

A fugitive Malaysian financier has been charged by US officials over a money laundering and bribery scheme that took billions of dollars from a Malaysian investment fund created to promote economic development projects in that country.

Low Taek Jho, who is also known as Jho Low, is charged with misappropriating money from the state-owned fund and using it to bribe foreign officials and to pay for luxury real estate, art and jewellery in the United States and to fund Hollywood movies, including The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Also charged was a Goldman Sachs banker, Tim Leissner, who pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and to conspiring to violating foreign bribery laws.

Another bank official, Ng Chong Hwa, 51, also known as Roger Ng, was arrested earlier on Thursday in Malaysia, prosecutors from the Justice Department said.

The charges are the first arising from a global scandal over the epic corruption scandal at the state investment fund known as 1MDB.

The Justice Department in 2016 moved to recover more than $1 billion that it said had been stolen, filing a civil complaint that sought the forfeiture of property including a Manhattan penthouse, a Beverly Hills mansion, a luxury jet and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

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