The Real Deal New York

Park Lane investor Jho Low charged with money laundering in Malaysia

Fugitive playboy thought to be in China
August 24, 2018 03:30PM

Jho Low and Park Lane Hotel at 36 Central Park South (Credit: Getty Images and Park Lane New York)

Malaysian police have officially charged money laundering suspect Jho Low, an investor in the Park Lane hotel in Manhattan.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Low was charged this week on eight counts in connection with 1 Malaysia Development Bhd., a multibillion dollar sovereign wealth fund Low is alleged to have stolen from between 2009 and 2015.

A Malaysian court previously ordered Low’s arrest. Low’s father also faces one charge of money laundering.

Malaysia’s prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said he believes Low is currently somewhere in China. Malaysian police said the charges will help get him arrested while he lives abroad, according to the Journal.

Former Malaysian prime minister Nazib Razak, who lost an election to Mohamad, has also been charged with money laundering in the 1MDB scandal.

In the United States, federal prosecutors believe Low is responsible for diverting $4.5 billion away from 1MDB, investing some of the funds in U.S. real estate, including the Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan. Prosecutors moved to seize the Park Lane through a civil forfeiture action in 2016, but have since cut a deal with developer and co-owner Steve Witkoff to sell the building and place Low’s cut in escrow while it continues to investigate him. The building has not sold, however.

Low, 36, rose to prominence in 2010 when he was pictured partying with Paris Hilton in St. Tropez. He allegedly paid Hilton $1 million for that privilege, though she has denied that. [WSJ] — Will Parker