Jho Low Was an $87 Million Vegas Whale at Late-Night Baccarat Table


(Bloomberg) — Jho Low was a big man in Vegas. He sported gold lame suits, traveled with an entourage and lost tens of millions of dollars, according to testimony Thursday.

Most Read from Bloomberg

The Malaysian financier was such a high-roller he lost $1.75 million in a single 90-minute stint playing baccarat, his game of choice, a marketing executive with the Venetian in Las Vegas told a jury in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

All told, Low wagered almost $87 million and lost nearly $26 million, the executive, Kirk Godby, estimated.

“He was extremely extravagant,” Godby said. “He had requests that were parallel to none. He made requests like he wanted disco balls, dance floors and DJs.”

Godby was testifying in the foreign-bribery trial of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Roger Ng over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scam. Ng is accused of conspiring with Low and Ng’s former boss Tim Leissner to help the financier steal billions of dollars from three bond deals Goldman underwrote for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. wealth fund. Low is now a fugitive.

Ng gambled with Low during the financier’s sole visit to the Venetian in late November 2010, Godby told the jury. He lost $22,500 playing baccarat during his visit, which took place before the first 1MDB bond deal closed in May 2012. Low played at the same table as Ng on the morning of Nov. 29 at around 5 a.m. and placed $4 million in bets, Godby testified.

Prosecutors may have called Godby to refute Ng’s October 2009 claims to Goldman superiors that he had met Low only once before, when he recommended Low as a private wealth client for the bank.

The case is U.S. v. Low Taek Jho, 18-cr-538, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

Source link