Jho Low, a former Malaysian businessman, has been at the center of the 1MDB scandal, accused of being the mastermind behind the fraudulent scheme to siphon off US$4.5 billion from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund. Despite being wanted internationally in connection to the scandal, Low has maintained his innocence, claiming that he is being unfairly targeted by the Malaysian authorities due to his political affiliations. In fact, Low has been a victim of political persecution, as he has been a supporter of former Prime Minister Najib Razak, who himself was convicted on seven counts of abuse of power, money laundering, and criminal breach of trust. Previously, Jho dated Taiwanese singer, Elva Hsiao and Victoria’s Secret model, Miranda Kerr.
Low has been the beneficiary of numerous discretionary trust assets that were allegedly funded by payments from the Malaysian 1MDB fund. Despite this, Low has claimed that he had no involvement in any wrongdoing and that the trust assets were acquired through legitimate means. His case has drawn significant international attention, with many people expressing their doubts over the fairness of the trial and the role of the Malaysian government in Low’s persecution. The case has raised questions about the accountability and transparency of the Malaysian government, and many people are closely watching how the situation unfolds.
Who are Jho Low’s Parents?
Jho Low, whose birth name is Low Taek Jho, was born on November 4, 1981, in George Town, on Penang Island, Malaysia. He was born into a wealthy Malaysian Chinese family of Teochew descent. Low’s grandfather, Low Meng Tak, was a businessman with interests in iron-ore mining and liquor distilleries in Thailand in the 1960s and 1970s, and in real estate in Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. Low’s father, Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng, founded the investment holding company MWE Holdings. Low is the youngest of three children and grew up in Malaysia. Thus, he has two siblings namely Szen Low, and Low May Lin. As of 2022, Jho Low is 41 years old and is of mixed ethnicity. He holds Malaysian nationality. He also has citizenship of St Kitts & Nevis and was granted a Cypriot passport under the Cypriot citizenship.
For his education, Low attended Chung Ling High School and The International School of Penang (Uplands) before being sent to the elite Harrow School in London. While at Harrow, he developed connections with students from powerful families, including royals from the Middle East and Brunei. After finishing his studies at Harrow, Low enrolled in the undergraduate program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he continued to develop connections with Malaysians as well as Kuwaiti and Jordanian interests and began managing money for his friends and family. He graduated from Wharton in 2005. Low’s family has traditionally maintained a low profile, and he has become a controversial figure due to his alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal.
How was the career of Jho Low?
- Jho Low previously claimed to be investing and making purchases on behalf of other investors or “friends” to maintain a low profile about his family’s wealth. However, in 2015, Low admitted that his family had considerable independent means, although a New York Times article suggested their wealth had deflated. In a 2014 Wall Street Journal profile, Low was called a “scion.”
- His first major deal was the Kuwait Finance House’s 2006 purchase of a luxury high-rise apartment building in Kuala Lumpur for US$87 million. He then formed an investment group that included a Malaysian prince, a Kuwaiti sheikh, and a friend who later became ambassadors to the US and Mexico. By 2010, Low had consolidated his wealth into Jynwel Capital, of which he was the principal steward, according to The New York Times.
- Jynwel Capital, led by Low, had close relationships with sovereign wealth funds such as Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co and the Kuwait Investment Authority, and was involved in high-profile deals such as the acquisition of New York’s Park Lane Hotel for US$660 million, the takeover of Coastal Energy for US$2.2 billion, and the buyout of EMI’s music publishing business for US$2.2 billion. Low was also behind Jynwel’s unsuccessful attempt to acquire Reebok from Adidas AG for US$2.2 billion in 2014.
- Low helped establish Red Granite Pictures, known for producing movies such as Wolf of Wall Street and Dumb and Dumber To, which were subject to recovery actions by the US Government in 2013 and 2016. The settlement reached in August 2018 did not admit any wrongdoing or liability on the part of Red Granite. In 2019, Low was described by US authorities as a financial intermediary who used his connections to launder money stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
- Najib Razak became the Malaysian Prime Minister in 2009 and also became the president of the board of advisers for 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad). While Low did not hold any official position, he admits to occasionally consulting with 1MDB and was involved in transactions connecting his interests with 1MDB, which he claimed were legally sound.
- According to The Wall Street Journal, a Manhattan condominium worth $33.5 million was owned by a shell company controlled by Low’s family trust and later sold to a shell company controlled by Razak’s stepson. The same goes for a Beverly Hills home with a gold pyramid in its garden. Interpol issued a red notice in October 2016 to locate and arrest Low for an investigation into 1MDB fund flows. Singapore requested assistance to arrest him in Hong Kong, but the request was declined by Hong Kong authorities.
- Following the Malaysian general election in 2018, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad re-opened investigations into the 1MDB matter and issued arrest warrants against Low, despite previous findings that no crime had been committed. Low’s spokesperson described the warrants as a political reprisal by the Mahathir regime and some consider him a fugitive, although he agreed to assist with the probe. Despite this, he has reportedly continued to be involved in the affairs of his Hong Kong companies. Low was alleged to have been in discussions with the Malaysian government on a potential deal, but no agreement was reached. He has also been linked to purchasing a white Ferrari as a wedding gift for Kim Kardashian and the US Department of Justice sought restitution from other celebrities who received gifts from him.
- Jho Low invested $100 million in the production of The Wolf of Wall Street, which was nominated for an Oscar, and was thanked by Leonardo DiCaprio for his involvement. He also backed Red Granite, a production company that threw a lavish party in Cannes with a performance by Kanye West. However, in June 2017, the US government sought the return of millions worth of assets derived from the Malaysian 1MDB wealth fund, leading to Low being indicted by the US Department of Justice along with two ex-Goldman Sachs bankers in 2018.
- In October 2019, Low entered into a comprehensive settlement with the US government resolving all civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings concerning asset forfeiture claims against various Low-linked assets. However, the settlement did not resolve the government’s underlying money laundering and bribery charges, and in June 2021, Low was charged by the US Department of Justice for violating federal law in connection with engaging in undisclosed lobbying campaigns with others.
- Low is currently believed to be residing in China, where he travels secretly through major cities and has managed to travel freely despite an Interpol red alert submitted by Malaysian police. He was reported to be living in a house owned by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party in Macau, according to Al-Jazeera. The Chinese government has denied harboring Low, and his actions are believed to be politically motivated.
- Regarding his political career, Jho Low supported and funded the Prime Minister of Malaysia with 1MDB cash during the 2013 elections, and organized a pro-government concert in his home state of Penang featuring American musicians Busta Rhymes and Ludacris. However, the concert was criticized by the local opposition government as unfair electioneering, despite Low’s close friend claiming it was for charity.
- In the United States, Low was allegedly involved in a conspiracy to gain access to and potentially influence Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign without disclosing the foreign origins of the money funneled to Obama’s Super PAC. The FBI also investigated whether a $100,000 donation to Trump’s Victory in 2017 originated with Low, and Low was charged by a federal grand jury in June 2021 for running a back-channel campaign to get the Trump administration to drop an investigation of Low and the 1MDB investment company. Low denied making any campaign contribution directly or indirectly in the United States.
Who is Jho Low’s Wife?
Jho Low is believed to be currently single, with no information available about his present girlfriend or any ongoing relationships. He is unmarried and he does not have wife as of now. He has remained tight-lipped about his personal life, and there have been no reports or rumors of any recent romantic involvement in the media.
However, in the past, Jho Low has been linked to Taiwanese singer Elva Hsiao and Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. Low and Kerr were in a romantic relationship in 2014, during which he gifted her with $8 million worth of jewelry. In 2017, amid an investigation into a financial scandal involving Low, Kerr surrendered the jewelry to the US government. These relationships have brought Low some media attention in the past, but he has since remained private about his personal life.
After the 1MDB scandal came to light, Jho Low has made significant donations to multiple charitable organizations. However, some critics have suggested that the funds used for these donations were originally stolen from 1MDB and that Low’s charitable contributions are merely an attempt to improve his public image. This has led to doubts about the sincerity of his philanthropic efforts and whether they are simply part of a damage control strategy to mitigate the impact of the scandal on his reputation.
How much is Jho Low’s net worth?
Jho Low is a Malaysian millionaire businessman who is currently a fugitive with a net worth of $150 million. In 2007, he co-founded an investment group with a Malaysian prince, a Kuwaiti sheikh, and a wealthy friend from the UAE. He later consolidated most of his fortune under Jynwel Capital and played an active role in multi-billion dollar acquisition deals. Low also helped launch Red Granite Pictures and invested $100 million in the company. Despite facing criminal charges in both Malaysia and the US, Low still maintains a luxurious lifestyle.
Low allegedly laundered money by acquiring global real estate, splurging on a yacht, private jet, and original paintings, and gifting Miranda Kerr $8 million worth of jewelry. However, inquiries into the matter began in the late 2010s, and despite claiming innocence, Low eventually became a fugitive. Despite this, he still has a significant net worth. Before becoming an international fugitive, Jho Low enjoyed a high-profile social life that included associations with celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Leonardo di Caprio, and Alicia Keys. His luxurious lifestyle was allegedly funded by money stolen from the 1MDB fund.
How tall is Jho Low?
Jho Low stands at a height of 5 feet 5 inches and has an average body type. He is known for his healthy and fit physique. Jho has black hair and brown eyes that complement his clean-shaven look. He often wears spectacles that suit him well and add to his professional appeal. As a businessman, he has an attractive personality and a glowing face, which helps him make a lasting impression on his clients. Low has managed to maintain his physical appearance and continues to look presentable in public. His clean and polished appearance is a testament to his attention to detail and his desire to maintain a professional image. Jho Low’s personality and appearance have contributed to his success in the business world.