THE U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether a fugitive Malaysian financier laundered tens of millions of dollars through two associates and used the funds to pay a U.S. legal team that includes former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and a lawyer who represents President Trump, according to people familiar with the matter.
Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman, has been described in U.S. court filings as playing a central role in the alleged embezzlement of $4.5 billion from a Malaysian fund called 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Malaysian authorities this week separately charged Mr. Low with money laundering in the case, which investigators suspect may be one of the biggest financial frauds in history. He has been moving around Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China in recent months, according to people with knowledge of his whereabouts.
Mr. Low was close to former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Rajak, who unexpectedly lost an election in May and was arrested last month in Kuala Lumpur. Mr. Najib has pleaded not guilty to charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in connection with the 1MDB scandal.