Wall Street Journal correspondents Wright and Hope transform their investigation of a mind-boggling financial fraud into a nonfiction thriller tracking the rise and fall of Jho Low, the “alleged mastermind of a multi-billion-dollar scam.”
In 2003, Low convinced an adviser to the rulers of the United Arab Emirates that he could broker deals between Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian governments. He then parlayed that connection into a relationship with a Goldman Sachs banker, who helped set up a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund in 2009, which was overseen by Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia and Low’s family friend. The authors contend that Razak turned a blind eye while Low siphoned billions of dollars from the state fund into a “byzantine labyrinth of bank accounts, offshore companies, and other complex financial structures.” Low, still a fugitive, used the stolen loot to “build a Hollywood production company, commission one of the world’s grandest yachts, and throw wildly decadent parties around the globe.” The authors explain how lax oversight enabled Low to carry out such a scheme. Complete with an epigraph from Jordan Belfort of Wolf of Wall Street fame, this is an epic tale of white-collar crime on a global scale.