NEW YORK: The jury in the trial of a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker finally got a look at hard proof of the treasures bought with money allegedly looted in the multibillion-dollar 1MDB corruption scandal.
But jurors did not get to see the actual US$23mil necklace with a pink diamond big enough to be a paperweight that was created by prestigious New York jeweller Lorraine Schwartz for Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.
They were not even shown a photo of the necklace. They saw an invoice. And so it went on Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court, where prosecutors were winding down their case and showing jurors how billions of dollars diverted from three US$6.5bil 1MDB bond transactions by financier Jho Low were used to buy luxury items.
Low is also accused of diverting funds from 1MDB to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stepson, Riza Aziz, who was a friend of the financier, to help produce The Wolf of Wall Street.
The jury was shown a photo of the plastic case for the DVD of the film – and a screen shot from the credits thanking Low for his support.
Riza’s Red Granite production company agreed in 2018 to pay US$60mil to settle claims brought by the US Justice Department that it financed the movie and other pictures with stolen 1MDB money.
Prosecutors claim an entity controlled by Low also used 1MDB money to buy five artworks from Christie’s auction house for US$58.3mil, including US$51.8mil on a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting titled Dustheads.
More invoices were shown to the jury – and also a thumbnail picture of Dustheads.
Schwartz, who has designed for celebrities like Beyonce, Adele and Blake Lively, could have been a witness in the case. But she instead gave a statement that prosecutors entered to the official court record. — Bloomberg