Malaysian financier charged

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FILE - In this April 23, 2015 file photo, Jho Low, Director of the Jynwel Foundation, poses at the launch of the Global Daily website in Washington, D.C. The Justice Department on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018, charged the fugitive Malaysian financier in a money laundering and bribery scheme that pilfered billions of dollars from a Malaysian investment fund created to promote economic development projects in that country. The three-count indictment charges Low Taek Jho, who is also known as Jho Low, with misappropriating money from the state-owned fund and using it for bribes and kickbacks to foreign officials, to pay for luxury real estate, art and jewelry in the United States and to fund Hollywood movies, including "The Wolf of Wall Street." (Photo by Stuart Ramson/Invision for the United Nations Foundation/AP Images)

Kuala Lumpur — A Malaysian financier at the center of a corruption scandal surrounding state fund 1MDB maintained his innocence Friday after the US unveiled criminal charges against him and two ex-Goldman Sachs bankers.

Low Taek Jho, commonly known as Jho Low and the former bankers were accused by the US Justice Department of conspiring to launder billions of dollars from the fund and bribing officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

Low allegedly played a central role in plundering 1MDB. He was an associate of Malaysia’s former leader Najib Razak, whose government lost power in May in large part due to allegations that the then premier was involved in the vast fraud.

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