PETALING JAYA: Works by famous artists including Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso will be among the assets handed over to the US Department of Justice (DoJ) if fugitive financier Low Taek Jho’s 1MDB settlement agreement is approved by the courts, an art market newswire reports.
According to artnet news, these pieces, worth millions, include several given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio which were handed over to the authorities in 2017.
They are Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Red Man One”, Diane Arbus’ “Child With Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park”, and Picasso’s “Nature morte au crane de taureau”. The last piece alone is valued at some US$3.2 million.
Jho Low is also expected to hand over Van Gogh’s “La maison de Vincent a Arles” which he purchased for US$5.5 million in 2013, and Monet’s “Saint-Georges Majeur” which he bought for over US$20 million in 2015.
It was reported last week that the DoJ had struck a deal with Jho Low to recoup almost US$1 billion from investment fund 1MDB.
The deal, if approved by a federal judge, would help resolve forfeiture cases tied to Jho Low, who prosecutors say orchestrated the theft of more than US$4 billion from 1MDB that ended up paying for a private jet, a superyacht, mansions, diamonds and Hollywood movie productions.
The DoJ settlement would allow it to recover proceeds from properties in Los Angeles, New York and London, and the sale of a Bombardier jet.
Jho Low is also expected to surrender his claim to a superyacht that has already been seized by the government and sold. In all, a settlement would resolve more than a dozen forfeiture lawsuits.
The agreement doesn’t include an admission of guilt or wrongdoing. It’s also unclear whether it affects the criminal charges against Jho Low in the US.