World

1MDB-linked Jho Low denies giving money to Trump's election campaign

PETALING JAYA: Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, has denied making any donations to a political fund-raising committee related to US president Donald Trump.

"Mr Low categorically denies having made any of the alleged donations mentioned in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article.

"These allegations are completely false and without any basis at all - as the Wall Street Journal was informed before publishing them," Low's lawyer said in a statement yesterday.

According to the WSJ, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) was investigating whether a US$100,000 (135,000) donation to Trump Victory Committee made by US citizen Larry Davis in December 2017 originated from Low.

The report further discredits Mr Davis, who co-owns LNS Capital, a Hawaii-based investment company, as a "major political donor", adding that it was a low-profile company set up in 2014 and was based in a strip mall.

However, it reported that Mr Davis's wife, Ms Nickie Lum Davis, was a co-owner of LNS Capital and was a "long-time political fund-raiser" who had helped Low to persuade the Trump administration to drop its 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) investigation.

WSJ added that court documents also revealed that Ms Lum had got to know Low in 2017 through Robin Rosenzweig, who owns a law firm that the US DOJ alleged received millions of dollars from a Hong Kong-based shell company controlled by Low.

It said that the law firm then transferred US$1.5m to LNS Capital.

Low added in his statement that he had never entered into any agreement and/or paid, or authorised payment of any money to the entities referred to by WSJ.

"Indeed, Mr Low had never heard of LNS or Larry Davis until referenced by the Wall Street Journal," the statement said.

WSJ in its report, added that Low denied knowing Mr Davis or had any knowledge of the donation to them, adding that Low had also retracted his e-mail to them, claiming that it was meant for his lawyers.

Low has maintained his innocence after the US DoJ had charged him in court over the 1MDB corruption scandal, which saw billions disappear from the state fund.

The US DoJ had launched a probe as it claimed that stolen Malaysian public money was laundered through the US financial system.

It has since arrested two former Goldman Sachs bankers for their involvement in the 1MDB scandal. - THE STAR

WORLD