Jho Low and Alicia Keys attend a charity event in 2013.
Photo: AP[From article]
He arrived from out of nowhere in 2009, a mysterious, geeky 28-year-old dropping ridiculous amounts of money all over the city.
When Lindsay Lohan was celebrating her 23rd birthday at 1Oak, he sent 23 bottles of Cristal to her table. He spent $160,000 on bottle service one evening at Chelsea hot spot Avenue and once flew eight waitresses from Greenwich Village club Pink Elephant to an afterparty — in Malaysia.
Yet no one knew who this man, Low Taek Jho — otherwise known as Jho Low — was, or where he got his money.
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The intrigue only deepened over the next few years, as Low collected a staggering amount of luxury real estate and famous artwork. He spent $30.55 million for an apartment in the Time Warner Center, as well as $23.98 million for a condo at the Park Laurel.
He bought Monets, Basquiats, Rothkos. He is widely thought to be the person who bought Picasso’s “Women of Algiers” last May for $141 million at auction — the most expensive painting ever purchased. He made the ARTnews list of the world’s 200 top private collectors.
Now the mystery of Jho Low may have finally been solved, thanks to a scandal that threatens the government of Malaysia and Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs.
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Federal investigators are probing what could end up being “one of the largest money-laundering frauds in the world,” a source told The Post.
Jho Low certainly is well connected. The son of a rich Malaysian businessman, he attended the Wharton School and became a financial consultant. One of his clients was Terengganu, an oil-rich sultanate of Malaysia, which in 2008 set up a sovereign wealth fund called TIA.
One of Low’s friends from boarding school in London was Riza Aziz. In April 2009, Aziz’s stepfather, Najib Razak, became prime minister of Malaysia.
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Then, last year, it all started to fall apart. First, the fund missed a payment on the $11 billion it owed to creditors. Then, in July, the Wall Street Journal reported that about $681 million from 1MDB ended up in the prime minister’s private bank account. Razak denied the money came from 1MDB.
There were calls for Razak’s resignation, which he has ignored, as Malaysian officials and the US Justice Department — along with Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong — have launched investigations into possible corruption.
Mystery Malaysian high roller at center of global laundering probe
By Jennifer Gould Keil
New York Post
February 28, 2016 | 4:51am