Shady Malaysian businessman Jho Low allegedly stole from the poor of his homeland to give to charities favored by American celebrities.
Low, a chubby, socially awkward Wharton grad, is at the center of a $6 billion theft from Malaysian development fund 1MDB, which was created to help poor people in the Southeast Asian nation.
Most of the money he allegedly pilfered was used to buy property, a yacht, a jet, art and diamonds for himself and his lovers, like Miranda Kerr, as well as celebrities he wanted to hang out with, according to the US government, which has filed suits to claw back $1.6 billion in stolen assets.
“I don’t know what the charities’ ethical practice should be,” Malaysian member of parliament Tony Pua told The Post.
“The monies can’t be returned to the Malaysian government, because the government is comprised of people complicit in laundering the money in the first place. The charities should set up a separate trust for the funds serving a cause benefiting Malaysians, or return the money to Malaysia if the current government is deposed,” he added.
Low became a “philanthropist” after his wild, booze-soaked parties with scantily-clad women were exposed in the press, along with his payments to celebrities to accompany him and perform for him as he traveled, gambled and partied his way around the globe on private jets, yachts and residences — all paid for with allegedly pilfered cash.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation received “millions of dollars” from Low.
Grammy award winning songbird Alicia Keys, who traveled with Low on luxury ski trips to France and Canada, also received money from Low for the charity she co-founded, Keep A Child Alive, to fight AIDS in Africa and We Are Here Movement. Keys did not return calls.
Low also gave money to Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation, a charity founded by Denise Rich, a former New Yorker who gave up her citizenship more than a decade after Bill Clinton pardoned her late ex-husband, Marc Rich, who was wanted in the U.S. for tax evasion.
Low also gave money to save wild cats. He gave at least $20 million to Panthera, a wild cat foundation created in 2014 by New York-born mercurial mineral mining billionaire Thomas Kaplan, a board member of Manhattan’s prestigious 92nd Street Y. Kaplan is one of the biggest investors in gold and silver and has close ties to the British political establishment, including ex-UK premier Tony Blair.
Low also invested $150 million in Kaplan’s company, Electrum Group LLC and joined its board for a time.
While the government is seizing the $150 million that Low invested in Electrum, which is cooperating, it has not made a claim against Kaplan’s Panthera charity.
After having a “cancer scare,” Low also gave $50 million to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
A news lover, Low also gave $25 million to the United Nations Foundation, which told The Post it “only” received $3 million. In addition, Low gave to National Geographic Pristine Seas Fund, which still lists Low’s Jynwel foundation as a partner on its home page. National Geographic was also one of the producers of DiCaprio’s documentary, Before the Flood.
Low’s also pledged at least $20,000 a year to the Motion Picture Television Fund.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center told the Post they received “a portion” of the $50 million.
“Those funds have been expended in accordance with the donor’s wishes,” a spokesman told the Post by email.
Low also donated to Children’s National Hospital, Earth To Paris, Global Daily, IRIN News, and Mashable Social Good Summit.
NEW YORK POST