FBI grills DiCaprio and Kardashian on Jho Low’s connection to 1MDB scandal

FBI grills DiCaprio and Kardashian on Jho Low’s connection to 1MDB scandal

UNITED STATES — US Inland Revenue Service investigators and Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors questioned Hollywood celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Kim Kardashian regarding the embezzlement probe of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Bloomberg Businessweek on Thursday(2 March) reported that the previously undisclosed FBI documents unveiled the US government’s effort to unravel a giant financial fraud, show how FBI agents grilled celebrities and their handlers for information about Low.

According to the report, DiCaprio told the agents that in April 2018 that his acquaintance with fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) began at a nightclub, where he was told that Jho Low’s money came from an unknown “whale of whales” in Abu Dhabi, and that Jho Low was considered the “Mozart of the business world”.

The report also revealed that Jho Low’s connection with DiCaprio and other celebrities came under renewed scrutiny as prosecutors prepared for the criminal trial of Prakazrel “Pras” Michél, a member of the Fugees, who is accused of directing foreign money into Barack Obama’s 2012 US presidential campaign and lobbying on behalf of Jho Low and the Chinese government.

Celebrities such as DiCaprio, Obama, Donald Trump, and Steve Wynn were among the potential witnesses on Michél’s list.

Kardashian, for example, told the FBI in February 2019 about her encounter with Jho Low, who gave her US$100,000 for fireworks at her wedding with Kris Humphries, and later offered her a work by Basquiat.

Kardashian also recounted an unusual money transfer involving Jho Low, Riza Aziz, and Joey McFarland, where she won a big hand playing baccarat and was given US$350,000 worth of chips, which she later converted into cash and collected during a later trip to Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, DiCaprio distanced himself from Jho Low after the latter failed to deliver a piece by Roy Lichtenstein that he promised to donate for a fundraiser in Saint-Tropez.

During the interviews, DiCaprio’s attorneys requested the DOJ to minimize his connection to any upcoming forfeiture complaints that the government may file.

However, representatives of DiCaprio declined to comment, while those of Kardashian, Humphries, and West did not respond to detailed messages seeking comments.

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