The Department of Justice announced charges on Thursday against a Malaysian financier accused of using money from a state-owned fund to bribe Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials and to pay for luxury goods in the U.S.
The department charged Low Taek Jho, 36, also known as Jho Low, with three counts in connection to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scheme, which has embroiled multiple Malaysian officials.
Low also allegedly used money from the funds to pay for real estate, art and to fund production of movies like “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that Low may have made payments using the laundered funds to a team of attorneys including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and to Marc Kasowitz, who has worked as President Trump‘s lawyer at the Trump Organization.
Ng Chong Nwa, also known as Roger Ng, was also arrested on Thursday in Malaysia in connection to the 1MDB scheme, the Justice Department said.
Also named in the indictment was a former Goldman Sachs banker, Tim Leissner, who pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy and to conspiring to violating foreign bribery laws.
The Justice Department has been investigating officials at 1MDB for months over allegations of laundering money through the U.S.
Thursday’s charges are the first to arise from the investigation.
BY BRETT SAMUELS – 11/01/18