Jho Low family's move to claim assets
rejected by U.S. court
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[December 13, 2016]
(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge
rejected on Monday a move by family members of Malaysian businessman Low
Taek Jho to claim assets seized by the U.S. government in its probe into
the scandal-tainted 1MDB fund.
Dale Fischer, a judge in Los Angeles federal court, ruled against a
motion by the family members to intervene and lay claim to real estate
and other assets seized in a U.S. government lawsuit, a court filing
Fischer also ruled against their motion for additional time to submit
claims. The family members did not have direct control over the assets
and were seeking to remove the Swiss trustees which control the assets
and who have not filed their own claims, she said.
The family members' objective was to replace the trustees "with people
or entities who, for reasons undisclosed, movants believe will file
claims. But movants have no standing to request an extension on behalf
of companies they do not control," Fischer said in a memo after Monday's
The ruling marks the latest setback for the family members, which last
week had a motion to delay the hearing denied, squashing plans to try
courts in New Zealand and the Cayman Islands, seen as potentially more
hospitable to their claims.
Low Taek Jho, commonly referred to as Jho Low, is among the people named
in civil lawsuits filed in July by the U.S. Department of Justice, which
alleged that more than $3.5 billion was misappropriated from the One
Malaysia Development Berhad fund.
The lawsuits seek to seize $1 billion in assets allegedly siphoned off
from 1MDB and diverted into luxury real estate in New York, Beverly
Hills and London, valuable paintings, and a private jet.
Singapore police have named Jho Low a “key person of interest” in a
money laundering investigation linked to 1MDB, according to testimony
last month in the trial of a former BSI SA banker charged with
obstruction of justice.
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A man walks past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at
the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur,
March 1, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris/File Photo
Jho Low has not been available for comment through his Hong Kong
private equity company and his whereabouts are unknown.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak established the fund in 2009
and chaired the advisory board until recently.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing and said Malaysia will cooperate in
the international investigations.
(Corrects "he" to "she" in third paragraph)
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York.; Editing by Bill Tarrant.)
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