DoJ seeking recovery of millions in 1MDB-linked real estate, artwork

PETALING JAYA: US authorities are seeking to recover some US$96 million in real estate and artwork linked to state investment fund 1MDB, including paintings by Claude Monet and Andy Warhol.

The Department of Justice (DoJ), which has so far recovered nearly US$1.1 billion in assets related to the scandal, said in a statement that is also eyeing the recovery of luxury real estate in Paris, Reuters reported today.

It was reported in November last year that works by artists including Monet, Warhol, Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso would be among the assets handed over to the DoJ if fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho’s 1MDB settlement agreement was approved by the courts.

Art market newswire artnet news said these pieces were handed over to the authorities in 2017.

This followed reports that the DoJ had struck a deal with Low, popularly known as Jho Low, to recoup almost US$1 billion from 1MDB.

The deal would help resolve forfeiture cases tied to Jho Low, whom 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 also allow it to recover proceeds from properties in Los Angeles, New York and London, and the sale of a Bombardier jet. However, it would not include an admission of guilt or wrongdoing, with Jho Low himself consistently maintaining his innocence.

Fake or not? Check our quick fake news buster here.