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Najib Razak became Prime Minister of Malaysia in 2009. Soon, he became president of the board of advisers for 1MDB, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. Although Jho Low never received an official position, he admits that he occasionally "consulted" with 1MDB, and was involved in a number of transactions connecting his own interests with those of 1MDB, which he claimed were "arms-length and legally sound."
Low allegedly purchased a US$325,000 white Ferrari as a wedding gift for Kim Kardashian in 2011. The Department of Justice (DoJ) was reported to have sought restitution from other famous celebrities who had received gifts from Low, among them Leonardo DiCaprio, who has since returned Picasso and Basquiat paintings; and Miranda Kerr who returned diamond jewellery with a market value of US$8 million.
According to a 6 May 2019 United States Department of Justice's indictment, Jho 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 indictment against Low revealed that he directed the transfer of US$21.6 million from foreign entities to former Fugees rapper Pras in 2012 for funneling into the US election.
As steward of Jynwel, Jho Low cultivated relationships with some of the world's largest and most reputable sovereign wealth funds, including Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co and the Kuwait Investment Authority. Jynwel is connected with deals including the acquisition of New York's Park Lane Hotel for US$660 million in 2013 with The Witkoff Group and Mubadala; the takeover of Coastal Energy in 2014 for US$2.2 billion; and the buyout of EMI's music publishing business in 2012 for US$2.2 billion with the Blackstone Group, Sony Corporation and Mubadala. Jho Low was the architect for Jynwel Capital's unsuccessful US$2.2 billion bid to buy Reebok from Adidas AG in October 2014.
Jho Low supported Aziz in the establishment of Red Granite Pictures, a Hollywood production company responsible for films including Wolf of Wall Street and Dumb and Dumber To. Recovery of the rights in both movies were the subject of actions for recovery by the US Government in 2013 and 2016. The claims were settled in August 2018, with the settlement stipulating that the payment should not be construed as "an admission of wrongdoing or liability on the part of Red Granite".
Although earlier in his career Jho Low had often claimed to be investing and making purchases on behalf of other investors or "friends" to maintain a low profile about his family's wealth, in 2015 Jho Low said that his family had considerable independent means. While a 2015 New York Times article suggested that his family was of "somewhat deflated affluence," a 2014 Wall Street Journal profile had called him a "scion."
In October 2016, Interpol published a red notice at Singapore's request to locate and arrest Low in an investigation related to 1MDB fund flows within its jurisdiction. The request for assistance to provisionally arrest Low was sent to the Hong Kong Department of Justice in April 2016, according to a representative for Singapore's police, but the request was rejected by the Hong Kong authorities.
In June 2017, the US Government, in proceedings brought against certain assets in the Central District of California, sought return of millions worth of assets derived from the Malaysian 1MDB wealth fund. On 1 November 2018, Low and two ex-Goldman Sachs bankers were indicted by the United States Department of Justice in connection with the 1MDB allegations.
The FBI has considered whether a donation of $100,000 to Trump Victory in 2017 originated with Low. The Wall Street Journal reported that $75 million was offered to Elliott Broidy, a businessman and a Republican fundraiser, and his wife if the Justice Department ended its probe into 1MBD.
He dated Taiwanese singer Elva Hsiao and Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr. In June 2017, Kerr surrendered $8 million in jewellery to the US government amid an inquiry into the scandal. The jewellery had been given to her by Jho Low in 2014, with whom she was at the time in a romantic relationship.
After the Malaysian general election in 2018, new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad re-opened the extensive investigations into the 1MDB matter and, despite prior findings by former Malaysian Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission that no crime had been committed, issued arrest warrants against Low. The filing of these charges leading to the arrest warrant were described by a spokesperson for Low as "political reprisal" by the Mahathir regime which was described as having a disregard for the rule of law. In light of the warrants, some consider him a fugitive as he has reportedly been sought by the Malaysian authorities in connection with the 1MDB matter, notwithstanding that Low agreed to assist with the probe.
According to South China Morning Post reports, Jho Low is still involved in affairs of his Hong Kong companies. He signed documents for private equity firm Jynwel Capital and non-profit group Jynwel Charitable Foundation in July 2018, even though Malaysian authorities looking to arrest him in connection with the 1MDB scandal which he has stated as politically motivated. He was alleged to have been in discussions with the Malaysian government on a potential deal, but the Malaysian government and he did not come to a deal.
Low was also helped by former Justice Department employee Higginbotham, who pleaded guilty to a charge in November 2018, to set up bank accounts for a lobbying campaign against the US investigations into the 1MDB scandal. In response, a spokesman for Low stated that "Mr. Low has never made any campaign contribution directly or indirectly in the United States."
On 31 October 2019, Jho Low entered into a global, comprehensive settlement with the US government forever resolving all civil, criminal, and administrative proceedings concerning asset forfeiture claims against various Low-linked assets. The settlement did not resolve the government's underlying money laundering and bribery charges and is not otherwise tied to the ongoing U.S. criminal case against him.
In 2019, Low made news again for his connection to the Burning Sun scandal, where he was implicated in YG Entertainment K-pop sex scandal.
On 3 November 2019, newspapers reported that Jho Low had been granted a Cypriot passport in September 2015. It was reported that Jho Low obtained the passport under the Cypriot citizenship investment scheme "within two days after investing in some property" in Cyprus. At the time, there was no warrant against Jho Low for the 1MDB scandal; however, he was already under investigation. The revelation concerning Jho Low's Cypriot citizenship came after the Cypriot citizenship investment scheme came under scrutiny after it was revealed that the Cyprus government, under the presidency of Nicos Anastasiades, had granted citizenship to Cambodian elites.