Who is Jho Low? 5 things to know about 1MDB fugitive

According to sources, Jho Low was in good connections with actor Leonardo DiCaprio and even treated him with expensive gifts (Image via Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
According to sources, Jho Low was in good connections with actor Leonardo DiCaprio and even treated him with expensive gifts (Image via Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

Born in 1981 into a reasonably well-off family, mastermind Jho Low, whose alleged involvement in the 1MDB fraud scandal shocked the corporate world, has been making headlines across Asia and America for years. ABC's The Con is set to reveal more about the financial scandal this Thursday, August 18, 2022.

The theft of billions of dollars from the sovereign wealth fund is linked to Low, a Penang native and alumni of the Harrow and Wharton schools accused of being the brains behind the 1MDB multi-billion dollar fraud. Low has vehemently denied involvement even as Interpol continues to pursue him. He could be anywhere as different rumors offer different particulars of his whereabouts.

1. Jho Low (pic) partied like there was no tomorrow, jurors at a US court heard today during the trial of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng, who's implicated in the 1MDB scandal.

Low had quite the luxurious lifestyle before he became a wanted man for his involvement in 1MDB, including paying to party with A-listers like Leonardo DiCaprio and dating supermodel Miranda Kerr. Former associates of Low have claimed that his suspicious conduct can be traced back to when he was an MBA student at Wharton.

Read further to learn more about 1MDB fugitive Jho Low.

Five lesser-know facts about 1MDB fugitive Jho Low

1) Jho Low is also known as "The Asian Great Gatsby"


While attending Wharton, Low hosted his first opulent party, earning him the nickname "The Asian Great Gatsby." He spent $40,000 renting Shampoo, one of Philadelphia's trendiest nightclubs, for his 20th birthday.

As Low's reputation for partying grew, many claimed that he wrote a note to Ivanka Trump asking her to join him on a gambling vacation at the Trump Plaza Hotel in Atlantic City. Later on, he revealed to his pals that she turned him down because she didn't want to enter one of her father's casinos.

2) Low had a big-time crush on Paris Hilton


According to reports, Jho Low had a massive crush on Paris Hilton. Low soon turned into a party animal and paid superstars like Megan Fox, Paris Hilton, and Leonardo DiCaprio to join him at his lavish parties, paying them six figures in exchange.

In 2009, Low even called Hilton's manager to ask if he could pay her to attend his parties. His love for the actress was the driving component of the move. She claimed that she received $100,000 for every event.

The following year, he hired billionaire Paul Allen's fancy yacht and blew millions of dollars on champagne. Later, Low and his group—now including Hilton—poured down these bottles. Low reportedly handed Hilton a Cartier watch and $250,000 in casino chips for her 29th birthday in Las Vegas.

3) He financed Red Granite Pictures, which produced several Hollywood hits


During the later years, Jho Low provided financing for the film firm Red Granite, which was responsible for producing The Wolf of Wall Street. By hosting one of Low's customary parties in 2011, the firm made its Cannes Film Festival debut.

DiCaprio, Bradley Cooper, and Jamie Foxx were among the well-known attendees treated to a performance by Kanye West and Pharrell. Additionally present at the gathering was Jordan Belfort, the centerpiece of The Wolf of Wall Street and a veteran fraudster.

4) Jho Low was apparently friends with Leonardo DiCaprio


Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton, and Jamie Foxx were among the famous people Low associated himself with in his quest for an opulent lifestyle. A contract for Leonardo DiCaprio that was signed in November 2009 has also surfaced during the investigation of the billion-dollar fraud.

DiCaprio reportedly received a payment of $150,000 to attend Jho Low's birthday celebration, a lavish dinner, and exclusive gambling sessions. He was flown to the party on a private plane chartered just for him by a premium travel company. Low counted him as one of his dearest celebrity contacts and once gave the actor a Basquiat piece valued at $9.2 million as a present.

5) He had ties with Goldman Sachs bankers and the Trump administration

1. Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) had offered RM1.5 billion to the Malaysian government to settle the 1MDB charges against, sources told The Edge.Jho Low had former attorney general Apandi Ali (right) represent him in negotiations with the Malaysian government.

According to reports, Roger Ng and Tim Leissner, two Goldman Sachs bankers, assisted Jho Low in throwing these lavish events and parties. Leissner entered a guilty plea and is actively helping the authorities. Prosecutors claim that Ng received $35 million in compensation for these payments.

According to sources, Leissner further stated that Low asserted that he and his attorneys were in negotiations with the Trump administration in 2017 for a solution that would exclude 1MDB from US prosecution. To put an end to the 1MDB-related inquiries, Low also claimed that he spoke with Jared Kushner, a top advisor in the Trump administration's White House.

These claims have been refuted by a person with knowledge of Kushner's itinerary. Elliott Broidy admitted to unlawfully influencing the Trump Government on behalf of Low, which proves that there is still a connection between Low and the Trump administration.

The Con episode titled The Billion Dollar Con will air on ABC on Thursday at 10 pm ET.

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Edited by Piyush Bisht
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