US$51 million NY penthouse linked to 1MDB to go on sale

The Walker Tower in Manhattan, New York.

NEW YORK: A US$51 million penthouse in Manhattan’s Walker Tower, allegedly bought with money siphoned from 1MDB, will be put on the market.

US prosecutors and lawyers representing the trust that owns the property on Tuesday asked a federal judge in Los Angeles overseeing a civil forfeiture lawsuit to let them move forward with selling it.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) claims the penthouse was bought in 2014 by Khadem Abdulla al Qubaisi, a former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s government-owned International Petroleum Investment Co.

Al Qubaisi was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison in Abu Dhabi, according to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He and an accomplice were also ordered to pay US$336 million, WSJ said.

Al Qubaisi, who is also the former chairman of restaurant and nightclub operator Hakkasan Group, received US$473 million stolen from 1MDB in 2012, according to the DoJ.

He was aided by Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, the alleged mastermind of the scheme to steal billions of dollars from 1MDB. Besides the Manhattan penthouse, al Qubaisi is said to have bought a US$31 million mansion in Beverly Hills, California, with 1MDB money.