Report: Jho Low tried to lobby Trump administration over 1MDB-linked charges

(MMO) – Fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, had attempted lobbying former US president Donald Trump’s administration to try and dismiss money laundering charges against him, Bloomberg reported today.

The report cited a US Justice Department statement that detailed a charge against Low and co-conspirator Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, a member of 90s Hip-Hop group the Fugees alongside Lauryn Hill and Wyclef Jean, which was read before a grand jury there on Thursday.

According to the report, both men’s objective was to lobby Trump’s Justice Department to drop charges against them, and bizarrely, to expedite the extradition of a wealthy Chinese exile accused of being critical of the Chinese government, identified as Guo Wengui.

Both Low and Michel have been separately charged for money laundering offences in the US, with Michel also charged for witness tampering and conspiring to make false statements to banks.

In 2019, they were also charged with seeking to channel funds worth millions of dollars supposedly belonging to Jho Low into the US presidential election so as to be passed off as legitimate political contributors to mask the source of the funds.

The report said prosecutors on Thursday believed both men had worked closely with Trump’s election fundraiser Elliot Broidy.

Broidy pleaded guilty last year to illegally lobbying the Trump administration to help Low dismiss the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investigation and to seek the extradition of Wengui.

The “back-channel efforts” failed, according to the report.

Neither Low nor his representatives were quoted in the report, but Michel’s lawyer Benjamin Brafman reportedly said the former celebrity aims to vindicate himself of all accusations.

“Pras intends to defend this case very vigorously and believes that when all of the facts are developed, a jury will conclude that this was a selective prosecution that has unfairly targeted Mr. Michel and will exonerate him,” Brafman was quoted saying in the report.

Low, a local of Penang who faces a slew of corruption charges here, has been on the run since the exposure of the 1MDB financial crisis and his whereabouts unknown.

Low continues to maintain his innocence on these and other related charges.