Even Hollywood gossip monger TMZ reports on money laundering allegations of 1MDB fund


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Alleged money launderer and fugitive financier loses Sunset Strip mansion

Even showbiz gossip monger TMZ is in on the reporting on the AML nightmare that is the 1MDB Fund. TMZ reported this week that the U.S. Dept. of Justice will auction the Sunset Strip mansion of Jho Low, the Malaysian financier who financed various Hollywood films.

U.S. prosecutors and Malaysian authorities accuse Low of helping former Malaysian leader Najib Razak steal billions from the nation’s municipal 1MDB fund and laundering those funds in luxury goods, real estate, and projects around the world. U.S. prosecutors have been searching for and seizing these goods and real estate for months in an effort to return the wealth to Malaysia.

TMZ reminds readers that when Low was throwing money around Hollywood, Low sought the friendship of Leonardo DiCaprio and financed “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Other films underwritten by Low include “Dumb and Dumber To” and “Daddy’s Home.”

Low purchased the Sunset Strip mansion for $40 million in 2012, according to TMZ. The U.S. Treasury plans to sell it via auction for about half that amount.

A New York Times report late last year detailed Low’s extraordinary spending and the money laundering allegations against Malaysia’s former leader and his family members. U.S. authorities have identified and seized a superyacht, Monet and Van Gogh paintings, an Oscar won by Marlon Brando for his performance in “On the Waterfront,” a private jet, and luxury properties.

The U.S. identifies Low as a fugitive from justice. Low and others named in the 1MDB scandal deny wrongdoing. The unresolved nature of the allegations complicate the seizure and return of identified purchases, according to U.S. authorities.

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