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US government reveals the list of lavish items seized from a financier

A yacht, a see-through grand piano, a Monet, a $31million penthouse and a private jet: US government reveals the list of lavish items seized from a financier accused of siphoning billions from the Malaysian government

  • Jho Low, 36, is the central figure accused of stealing about $4.5 billion from  a Malaysian government investment fund
  • About $200 million was bought in artwork including a $173 million Picasso drawing and two Claude Monet paintings
  • Supermodel Miranda Kerr was gifted with a see-through grand piano and actor Leonardo DiCaprio was given Marlon Brando’s 1954 Oscar
  • Also purchased were a $250million custom-made yacht, a $31million condo in New York City and a $25million private jet
  • Low is believed to be hiding in China  and has denied any wrongdoing through a spokesman

Jho Low, 36, is the central figure accused of stealing about $4.5 billion from a Malaysian government investment fund

A yacht, a see-through grand piano an original Monet are among the list of lavish items the US government has revealed were seized by a financier accused of siphoning money from the Malaysian government. 

Financier Low Taek Jho, known popularly as Jho Low, is the central figure accused of stealing about $4.5 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a Malaysian government investment fund. 

Low, 36, who is said to be the mastermind of the scandal, is believed to be hiding in China – and has denied any wrongdoing through a spokesman.  

The New York Times reports that the effort to recover all of the items included several federal agencies and investigators from several foreign countries.

Low allegedly bought more than a dozen properties including a $31 million condominium at the Time Warner Center in New York City, the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel in California and a mansion in Beverly Hills worth $17.5 million. 

1MDB was founded by former Malaysian premier Najib Razak in 2009 and is the subject of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the US, Switzerland and Singapore. 

Najib was ousted in a general election in May by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened investigations into 1MDB and Najib’s involvement at the fund.

Najib is now facing nearly 40 money laundering and corruption charges related to losses at 1MDB and other government entities. He has consistently denied wrongdoing. 

The Financial Times reported in September that the government was looking to seize about $1.7 billion in assets – although the total value of items has not been confirmed. 

Among the items bought was a $250million yacht called the Equanimity that was custom-built and included a movie theater and a helicopter pad. The FBI seized it this year in Bali

Low allegedly bought more than a dozen properties including a $31 million condominium at the Time Warner Center in New York City, the Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills hotel in California (pictured) and a mansion in Beverly Hills worth $17.5 million

Around $200 million was used to buy artwork, including two Claude Monet paintings (pictures, Monet’s Saint-Georges Majeur) and $179 million Pablo Picasso drawing sold by Christie’s in 2015

According to prosecutors, the men involved in the laundering scheme put the money in a number of off-shore bank accounts and shell companies. 

Around $200 million was used to buy artwork, including two Claude Monet paintings and $179 million Pablo Picasso drawing sold by Christie’s in 2015.

At the time, it was the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction and, to date, it is the most expensive Picasso sold at auction, according to ArtNet News.  

Also bought was a 22-carat pink diamond necklace for Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Her lawyers told The Times that she saw the necklace, but claims she never received it. It has since gone missing. 

More than $100 million was used to finance several films in Hollywood including 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street, 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To and 2015’s Daddy’s Home.


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Both were semi-produced by Red Granite Pictures, co-founded by Riza Aziz,who is Najib’s stepson.  

Riza was named in the FBI’s lawsuit but, in March 2018, Red Granite agreed to pay $60million to the US Department to settle claims.  

Then there was the $250million yacht called the Equanimity that was custom-built and included a movie theater and a helicopter pad.  

The yacht was hard to track down because its’s transponder was often turned off, but the FBI seized it this year in Bali. 

Low didn’t just spend money on himself, he also gifted extravagant items including a see-through acrylic grand piano to supermodel Miranda Kerr in 2014.

According to The New York Times, it sits in her Malibu home and investigators don’t know what to do with it because it won’t fit through the front door. 

More than $100 million was used to finance several films in Hollywood including 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street (pictured), 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To and 2015’s Daddy’s Home.

Low didn’t just spend money on himself, he also gifted extravagant items including a see-through acrylic grand piano (pictured) to supermodel Miranda Kerr in 2014.

Kerr has also handed over a pair of 11-cart diamond earrings and a nearly 12-carat diamond-shaped heart. 

Kerr was not the only celebrity lavishly gifted.

Leonardo DiCaprio has since turned over his artwork that was being stored in Switzerland. 

This includes a Picasso painting titled Nature Morte au Crâne de Taureau (Still Life with Bull Head) and a collage by Jean-Michel Basquiat titled Redman One.  

Low also gave DiCaprio the 1954 Oscar Marlon Brando won for On The Waterfront, according to the book Billion Dollar Whale, a book on the scandal written by two Wall Street Journal reporters. 

A spokesman for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences told The Times that when any post-1950 Oscar is put up for sale, the academy has the right to buy it for $1.  

A Picasso painting titled Nature Morte au Crâne de Taureau (Still Life with Bull Head) was given to Leonardo DiCaprio, who has since relinquished it


Kerr (left) has also handed over a pair of 11-cart diamond earrings and a nearly 12-carat diamond-shaped heart. DiCaprio (right, with Low) has also given back the 1954 Oscar Marlon Brando won for On The Waterfront

Last month, US prosecutors charged Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers with conspiracy to launder 1MDB money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

On Tuesday, Low and four others were charged with 13 money laundering and criminal breach of trust offences involving losses of 1MDB funds totaling $1.17 billion or 4.2 billion ringgit, based on foreign exchange rates at the time of the offence, Malaysian police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement.

Arrest warrants were issued against the five who have left Malaysia, Mohamad Fuzi said.

‘If they are found to be in any other country, police and the Attorney General’s Chambers will take action to request their extradition so that they can be brought back to Malaysia to face charges in court,’ he said.  

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