Low denies making political donation to committee related to Trump

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 14 Mar 2019

PETALING JAYA: Fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low (pic), has denied making any donations to a political fundraising committee related to US president Donald Trump.

"Mr Low categorically denies having made any of the alleged donations mentioned in the Wall Street Journal article.

"These allegations are completely false and without any basis at all - as the Wall Street Journal was informed before publishing them," Low's lawyer said in a statement on Thursday (March 14).

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the US Department of Justice (DoJ) was investigating whether a US$100,000 (RM408,650) donation to Trump Victory Committee made by Larry Davis in December 2017 originated from Low.

It said the authorities wanted to investigate whether a US$1.5mil (RM6.13) transfer made to Davis prior to the donation had come from Low.

The report further discredits Davis, a US citizen who co-owns LNS Capital, a Hawaii-based investment company, as a "major political donor", adding that it was a low-profile company set up in 2014 and was based in a strip mall.

However, it reported that Davis’s wife, Nickie Lum Davis, was a co-owner of LNS Capital and was a “longtime political fundraiser” who had helped Low to persuade the Trump administration to drop its 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) investigation.

WSJ added that court documents also revealed that Nickie Lum had gotten to know Low in 2017 through Robin Rosenzweig, who owns a law firm that the US DOJ alleged received millions of dollars from a Hong Kong-based shell company controlled by Low.

It said that the law firm then transferred the US$1.5mil (RM6.13) to LNS Capital.

Low, in his statement added that he had never entered into any agreement and/or paid, or authorised payment of any money to the entities referred to by WSJ.

"Indeed, Mr Low had never heard of LNS or Larry Davis until referenced by the Wall Street Journal," the statement said.

WSJ in its report, added that Low denied knowing Davis or had any knowledge of the donation to them, adding that Low had also retracted his email to them, claiming that it was meant for his lawyers.

Low has maintained his innocence after the US DoJ had charged him in court over the 1MDB corruption scandal, which saw billions disappeared from the state fund.

The US DoJ had launched a probe as it claimed that stolen Malaysian public money was laundered through the US financial system.

The US DoJ has since arrested two former Goldman Sachs bankers for their involvement in the 1MDB scandal.

Former banker Roger Ng Chong Hwa is facing charges for his involvement in the scandal, while Tim Leissner had already pleaded guilty to his charges and had agreed to pay US$43.7mil (RM182.27mil) in restitution of his ill-gotten gains.