(Aug 30): A Malaysian financier accused of looting billions from investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, has hired several politically connected lawyers in the U.S. to defend his interests in a sprawling Justice Department investigation.
Low Taek Jho — also known as Jho Low, who is wanted in Malaysia for money laundering and has been described in U.S. court filings as the man who orchestrated the theft of more than US$4 billion from 1MDB — has retained former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and one of President Donald Trump’s go-to law firms, Kasowitz Benson Torres, among others.
Christie, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 before dropping out and endorsing Trump, set up his own law firm earlier this year after serving out his second term as New Jersey’s governor. He is representing Low in the civil forfeiture case brought against his properties by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Los Angeles, according to his spokesman Pete Sheridan.
The Kasowitz firm is representing Low in the ongoing investigation of people believed to be involved in raising funds for 1MDB and siphoning them after the fact. “Here, as with all of our clients, our job as attorneys is to represent and vindicate our clients’ interests,” said Mike Geller, a spokesman for the firm.
Low has also retained Bobby Burchfield of King & Spalding’s Washington D.C. office. “We can confirm that Mr. Low retained King & Spalding to advise him on the ongoing investigations,” the firm said in a statement.
Low’s hiring of these lawyers was first reported in The Wall Street Journal.