Saturday, June 23, 2018

ACFE Award for 1MDB Fraud Reporting

Clare Rewcastle Brown wins international award for fraud reporting. Image credit:

1MDB investigations may still be under way – but the Sarawak Report editor whose whistleblower site had exposed the excesses of the sovereign wealth fund – was in Las Vegas, USA on Tuesday.

Clare Rewcastle-Brown was at the 2018 Global Fraud Conference where she was presented with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners' Guardian Award for vigilance in fraud reporting.

In her keynote address, Rewcastle-Brown said if Jho Low, the Penang financier known to be former prime minister Najib Razak's confidant and business adviser and the accused mastermind of the 1MDB scandal, had not been so indulgent in Las Vegas – the 1MDB story might not have been revealed to the world.

OMG, he sure knows how to party! He is said to have thrown some of the most extravagant parties that Las Vegas has ever seen.

Jho Low parties with the Hilton sisters, Paris and Nicky., July 13, 2017 

Image credit: Webpage 

Pictured on a boat in Paris with Paris Hilton in 2010 

Pictured with Alicia Keys in 2014

It was reported that when he celebrated his thirtieth birthday in 2012, more than three hundred guests were invited. A veritable roll call of celebrities – that included the likes of Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, Kanye West, Kim Kardashian, Robert De Niro and Benicio Del Toro.

The party itself was held on a 217,800 square foot lot along the famed Las Vegas Strip, complete with an indoor Ferris wheel and a 7-meter bar carved out of ice.

Las Vegas seems to be one of his fave hangout cities because the US Department of Justice had said Low gambled away millions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB at the city’s casinos.

Rewcastle-Brown said: "I find it sobering to reflect that probably none of this would have come out, and Najib would probably still be robbing the poor of his nation, if his young proxy had not been so ostentatious in the city of Las Vegas”.

And I can imagine she had a mile-wide smirk on her face when she said: "Thank you for inviting me here to see it with my own eyes at last"!

She had shared about Low's exploits, as well as those of his "super close pal" Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson (right), who "equally could not explain his own secretive wealth".

She talked about how the two kept spending money – and she kept getting tip-offs, for example, their super yachts, their Beverly Hills mansions, New York penthouses, their extraordinary purchases in the art market, their gambling and clubbing, and fleets of customized sports cars.

She even said the pair made the characters in The Wolf of Wall Street – a film produced by Red Granite Pictures, which was co-founded by Riza – look like amateur spenders.

People on the movie set had told her that Low would pay the film's main star, Leonardo DiCaprio (right), $500,000 (RM2 million) each time to fly with him on a private jet to Las Vegas to play the tables.

She also related that after DoJ publihed their 1MDB findings, DiCaprio found himself 'shamed' and felt obliged to return to Low a Picasso and a stolen Oscar that belonged to the late actor Marlon Brando.

And I didn't know that Paris Hilton (left) could be hired for a reported $1 million to hang on to Low's arm at parties.

There were other Hollywood hangers-on too – including singer Alicia Keys and actor Foxx, who were "regular party-goers and receivers of gifts and donations".

And Rewcastle-Brown had also mentioned about supermodel Miranda Kerr (right) who returned $8 million worth of diamond jewellery that was presented to her by Low as a Valentine's Day gift on the inaugral cruise abroad his new super yacht Equanimity in 2014. 

"Thanks to the election results and the judgment of the Malaysian people, I think the game is pretty much over at 1MDB”.

On Thursday, Charandeep Kaur had invited me to her Service Source Toastmasters meeting in KL. I was a speech evaluator as well as the General Evaluator.

It is unlikely that one can find a speech marathon during a lunch meeting – but at this club, I had the rare pleasure to listen to seven speakers just two afternoons ago. Awesome!

Is it any wonder that Service Source Toastmasters Club had received recognition as a President’s Distinguished Club – under the Distinguished Club Program for 2017-2018?

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