International fugitive Jho Low has been sentenced in absentia to 10 years in a Kuwait prison for his role in laundering a minimum of $1 billion connected to $4.5 billion that was stolen from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB, according to reports.
The $1 billion laundered through Kuwait was paid in Chinese currency, so it stayed out of the US banking system — “and out of reach of the Justice Department and its investigators,” a source close to the case told The Post.
The son of Kuwait’s former prime minister, Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and a third man who went to the prestigious Wharton business school with Low, Hamad Al Wazan, were also sentenced to 10 years each in jail.
Two other men were also sentenced Bachar Kiwan, who now lives in Paris and got 10 years, and Kuwaiti lawyer Saud Abdelmohsan, who was sentenced to seven years.
It’s not clear whether any of those sentenced will serve their time. Low is currently believed to be living in China under Beijing’s protection.
“The sentencing shows that Kuwaiti authorities are serious about prosecuting money laundering activities even if they are committed by people related to high ranking officials,” the source told the Post. ”
The New York Post was the first to report on Low and Al Wazan back in 2009.
Low used stolen Malaysian money to buy art, real estate, diamonds, and designer clothes and handbags for people including the actor Leo DiCaprio and ex-models Miranda Kerr and Kate Upton. In addition, Low invested the stolen 1MDB funds in Hollywood films like “The Wolf of Wall Street.”
The news of Low’s sentencing in Kuwait comes as Grammy-winning musician Pras Michel stands trial this week in Washington, DC, in part for allegedly accepting $100 million of stolen money from Low and using it for a variety of criminal plots.
Those include an alleged lobbying campaign to stop the Justice Department from investigating Low and, separately, to get the US government to “return” a Chinese exile and Steve Bannon ally named Miles Kwok or Guo Wengui, to China.
The federal government recently arrested Guo in New York and charged him with orchestrating a separate $1 billion fraud.
Michel and Guo maintain their innocence.
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