10 Jho Low Biography Facts: Story Wikipedia, His Parents, Family, Siblings, Last Seen, Where Is He Now, What Did He Do?

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What happened to Jho Low? The Wannabe Playboy is a Malaysian fugitive businessman known for 1MDB scandal. But where is he today? His biography is explored.

The 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal (1MDB scandal) has been described as “one of the world’s greatest financial scandals” and declared by the United States Department of Justice as the “largest kleptocracy case to date” in 2016.

The fraud mastermind is Jho Low, a short, podgy and bespectacled businessman who was constantly surrounded at parties by glamorous celebrities.

The Malaysian wannabe playboy knew how to make friends and influence people.

Jho Low was regularly seen flaunting huge wealth at exclusive Vegas and Hollywood parties. He dated some of the A- list models and befriended as well gifted expensive items to some famous faces.

At the end, it was revealed that all of the money he used in his luxurious lifestyle didn’t belong to him but to the people of Malaysia. Shortly he was declared wanted and missing with some of his associates behind bars while he’s no where to be found since 2016.

Read on for how Jho Low stole billions to give Picasso to Leo DiCaprio and diamonds to Miranda Kerr – before cops demanded they hand it all back – his whereabout as of today, and more about his family background.

Jho Low was regularly seen flaunting huge wealth at exclusive Vegas and Hollywood parties
Jho Low was regularly seen flaunting huge wealth at exclusive Vegas and Hollywood parties. Credit: Getty

Who is Jho Low?

Low Taek Jho, often called Jho Low, is a Malaysian fugitive businessman, wanted by authorities internationally in connection with the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal.

Low once lived a high-profile social life before becoming an international fugitive. 

Dubbed the Asian Great Gatsby for his high-rolling, star-studded parties, Low’s lavish lifestyle was purportedly funded by money pilfered from the 1MDB fund. 

Many must have wondered why a short, podgy and bespectacled businessman was constantly surrounded at parties by glamorous celebrities.

But the Malaysian wannabe playboy, going by the name Jho Low in a nod to the Hollywood diva, knew how to make friends and influence people.

His associations included Paris Hilton, Leonardo di Caprio, Kimora Lee SimmonsJamie FoxxBusta Rhymes, Kasseem Dean, Emily Ratajkowski and Alicia Keys.

How old is Jho Low?

Jho Low was born on November 1981. He is 41 years old and celebrates his birthday in November of every year.

Where is Jho Low from?

The famous and wanted fraudster is originally from George Town, Malaysia, on Penang Island. He is a Malaysian-Chinese by nationality but of Teochew descent.

While he is from Malaysia, his citzenship has changed over the years. From 2011 to 2018 he was a St. Kitts & Nevis, and from 2015 to 2020 he was known to be from Cyprus.

Who are Jho Low’s parents?

Jho Low was born into an affluent family. His parents are Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng (father) and Evelyn Low (mother).

His family has traditionally maintained a low profile.

Low’s dad Hock Peng founded investment holding company MWE Holdings.

His grandfather Low Meng Tak was a businessman born in Guangdong in China. Meng Tak had interests in iron-ore mining and liquor distilleries in Thailand in the 1960s and 1970s, and in real estate in Thailand, Malaysia, and Hong Kong.

Does Jho Low have any siblings?

Jho is not an only child to his parents. He has two other siblings namely; Szen Low and Low May Lin, and is the youngest among them.

His siblings keep a low profile.

Inamorata CEO Emily Ratajkowski revealed she was once paid $25K to attend the Super Bowl with disgraced Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho

Where did Jho Low attend school?

Due to his family’s wealth, Jho Low has an impressive educational background. He was educated at English public school Harrow in London. This institution boasts notable alumni, including former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. 

Before that, he attended Chung Ling High School and The International School of Penang (Uplands). 

At Harrow where prominent men had their children at, Low took it as an opportunity to mingle with students from powerful families, including royals from the Middle East and Brunei. 

One of his closest friends was Riza Aziz, the stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. 

Low then enrolled in the undergraduate program of the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he continued to develop connections with Malaysians as well as Kuwaiti and Jordanian interests and began managing money for his friends and family. He graduated from Wharton in 2005.

Low can speak Malay, English, Cantonese, Hokkien, and Teochew.

The wannabe playboy was pictured at a charity ball in New York posing with singer Alicia Keys.
The wannabe playboy was pictured at a charity ball in New York posing with singer Alicia Keys.Credit: Getty – Contributor

How did Jho Low’s crimes begin? His rise was as dramatic as his fall.

Jho Low came from a rich family who sent him study in England from 1988. There he met Riza Aziz, stepson of ex-Malaysian PM Najib Razak. That allowed him in 2009 to create a development fund called 1MDB with Razak.

The scheme was supposed to bring investment into Malaysia, for the benefit of its people, but instead much of the money was squandered by Low and his pals.

He first gained attention in the year of the fund’s foundation, when the New York Post told how the “international man of mystery” had sent 23 bottles of Cristal champagne to Hollywood star Lindsay Lohan as she celebrated her 23rd birthday.

A year later, Paris Hilton was seen sunning herself on his yacht in the South of France — and in 2011 he invited guests including Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Beyonce to a party in an Arabian-style tent on top of the swanky L’Ermitage hotel in Beverly Hills.

The next year, he was pictured at a charity ball in New York posing with singer Alicia Keys.

He was also involved in financial fraud movie The Wolf Of Wall Street which was released by Red Granite Pictures, a production company co-founded by Aziz and Low.

British investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown and America’s FBI suspected the pair were getting the money from the 1MDB fund, which was rumoured to be hugely in debt.

Jho Low stole $1.42 billion from Goldman 1MDB Deals, FBI Agent says.

Low gifted DiCaprio a £2.5million Picasso painting and invited him to countless debauched parties
Low gifted DiCaprio a £2.5million Picasso painting and invited him to countless debauched partiesCredit: Getty

How did Jho Low spend his money?

The sensibly suited 41-year-old showered models, singers and movie stars with the most incredible gifts imaginable.

He splashed £6million on jewellery and a crystal piano for Aussie model Miranda Kerr, told Kim Kardashian to keep his £200,000 casino winnings and paid Britney Spears £800,000 to jump out of his giant birthday cake.

There were tales of Low blowing £1.5million on champagne in a single night in St Tropez — and flying stars from one New Year’s Eve party in Australia to another in Las Vegas.

His most famous associate, though, was Leonardo DiCaprio.

Not only did Low’s production firm fund the actor’s 2013 movie The Wolf Of Wall Street, but Low bought a £30million mansion a few doors down from him in Hollywood.

He also gifted DiCaprio a £2.5million Picasso painting and invited him to countless debauched parties.

Recently released FBI documents reveal how Low once gave Kim Kardashian £83,000 for fireworks — and how the 300 guests at his 30th bash in Las Vegas in 2012 included Kanye West.

But the money Low was spending did not belong to him — it belonged to the Malaysian people.

Following investigation and his crimes being known, DiCaprio reportedly handed back the Picasso, as well as a £7million Basquiat painting gifted to him by Red Granite Pictures.

Kerr returned the jewellery, although Clare claims: “She also had a room made around a crystal piano, but it was too big to get it out of the room, so they said keep it”.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by DiCaprio or any of the other celebrities who received gifts from Low.

US special agents investigating Low filed a civil lawsuit in 2016 in a bid to reclaim billions embezzled from 1MDB.

They revealed 30million had been spent on artworks, £250million on a yacht and £4million on diamonds for Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor.

The unravelling of Low’s web of deceit has led to the conviction of The Fugees rapper Pras Michel
The unravelling of Low’s web of deceit has led to the conviction of The Fugees rapper Pras Michel. Credit: Reuters

Who is arrested in connection to the 1MDB scandal?

It seems Low wished to use his association with these big names to help him strike deals across the globe, including in Kuwait, China and the United Arab Emirates.

The trial this year of Fugees star Michel revealed how Low also tried to use him to influence American presidential politics.

In May, Michel was found guilty of breaking the law by secretly funnelling money to Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential election campaign.

In 2017, Michel tried to lobby Donald Trump’s camp on behalf of Low, to help extradite dissident Guo Wengui to China.

DiCaprio, a former pal of Michel, gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution during the trial. The rapper awaits sentence.

Meanwhile, Razak is now serving 12 years in jail for corruption relating to the 1MDB scandal, having unsuccessfully appealed his case.

Yet the shamed politician puts the blame for his downfall on Low, telling the documentary: “I trusted in the wrong people but the system failed me.”

In May 2020, Malaysian prosecutors dropped money-laundering charges against Razak’s stepson Aziz, after a monetary settlement.

Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng was sentenced to ten years in jail in New York in March after being found guilty of conspiring to launder money and violating anti-corruption law.

His colleague Tim Leissner is awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring to launder money.

Prosecutors said the two men helped to launder money used to bribe Malaysian officials. In 2020 the investment bank agreed to pay £3billion to the Malaysian government for its role in the 1MDB scheme, but last week new Malaysian PM Anwar Ibrahim threatened to sue Goldman Sachs.

The unravelling of Low’s web of deceit has also led to the conviction of The Fugees rapper Pras Michel, the jailing of a former Malaysian Prime Minister and the conviction of two Goldman Sachs bankers.

Jho Low pictured partying with heiress Paris Hilton
Jho Low pictured partying with heiress Paris HiltonCredit: Big Pictures

Where is Jho Low today?

The Malaysian and US authorities are still seeking to bring Low, who has not been convicted of any offence, to trial. But with China denying he is even in their country there is little chance of knowing if he is alive or dead.

After the US authorities linked Low to the Malaysian fraud, he reportedly fled to Antarctica on his yacht, and in 2019 he was spotted at Disneyland in Shanghai.

But having made enemies across the globe, the party seems well and truly over for Low.

Malaysia’s anti-graft regulator has confirmed that it suspects alleged 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fraud mastermind Jho Low is hiding in the Chinese special administrative region of Macau and has not yet faced justice.

He first came to attention in 2016 when Singapore authorities alleged that a company linked to him had received more than $5m of 1MDB money. With the assistance of the Singaporean police’s Commercial Affairs Department, MACC seized the funds in the account.

It has taken years of digging by British investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown and America’s FBI to uncover Low’s trail of corruption, which is believed to amount to more than £3.5BILLION and has added to his nation’s crippling debt.

Clare believes he maybe never will.

She tells The Sun: “I’m very sceptical Jho Low is still with us. He has so much toxic information about deals with China, and they can’t have him going to a Western court room to spill all this.”

Low’s financial involvement and production of fraud movie The Wolf Of Wall Street got the attention of journalist Clare who recalls: “I was waging a Twitter war with Leonardo DiCaprio from the launch of the movie, saying, ‘You better know there is suspicion about the money behind your movie’.”

Instead, the production firm’s lawyers threatened Clare with legal action, and DiCaprio thanked Low after winning a Best Actor Golden Globe for the film in 2014.

She continued writing about the 1MDB scandal on her website The Sarawak Report, named after a state in Malaysia. But that made her even more dangerous enemies.

Malaysia tried to place Clare on the Interpol Red Notice list for the “terrorism” of her reporting, but the international police body refused.

London-based Clare, 64, who is married to former PM Gordon Brown’s brother Andrew, was also followed by private detectives and warned her life was in danger.

She says: “I was sitting with my then 15-year-old son and got a message that I was being targeted by a hitman.”

Former Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, 76, and whistle-blower Xavier Justo, 55, a Swiss banker, claim in the documentary that they were jailed for exposing Low’s dodgy dealings.

Low also splashed £6million on jewellery for Miranda Kerr
Low also splashed £6million on jewellery for Miranda Kerr. Credit: Getty

Who was Jho Low married to?

According to reports, Jho Low’s wife’s name is Jesselyn Chuan Teik. The couple had been in a long-term relationship before they got secretly married.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Jho Low fled Macau after the May 9 elections with his wife and two children

Even while married, he had mistresses which included famous celebrities.

He dated Taiwanese singer Elva Hsiao and also started a romance with Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. He showered his partners with expensive gifts but they returned them all in the wake of his crimes being investigated.

In June 2017, Kerr surrendered $8 million in jewelry to the US government amid an inquiry into the scandal. The jewelry had been given to her by Low in 2014, with whom she was at the time in a romantic relationship.

Kerr was also gifted a crystal piano
Kerr was also gifted a crystal piano. Credit: crystal-piano.nl

What is Jho Low’s net worth?

Although Malaysian fugitive criminal businessman Jho Low stole billions, he reportedly has a current net worth of $150 million.

Low has contributed money to various charities. However, much, if not all, of his charitable giving occurred after the 1MDB scandal began to unfold, and thus critics claim that the money provided to various charities was stolen from 1MDB and that Low’s charitable giving is simply part of a public relations strategy to burnish Low’s tarnished image.

What documentaries and movies are about Jho Low?

Jho Low’s fraud is laid bare in new documentary Man On The Run.

Man on the Run is a The Smoking Section production in association with Evergreen Media, and is set for release in theaters in New York on Sept. 22 and in Los Angeles on Sept.