(Corrects "he" to "she" in third paragraph)
Dec 12 A U.S. federal judge rejected on Monday a
move by family members of Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho to
claim assets seized by the U.S. government in its probe into the
scandal-tainted 1MDB fund.
Dale Fischer, a judge in Los Angeles federal court, ruled
against a motion by the family members to intervene and lay
claim to real estate and other assets seized in a U.S.
government lawsuit, a court filing shows.
Fischer also ruled against their motion for additional time
to submit claims. The family members did not have direct control
over the assets and were seeking to remove the Swiss trustees
which control the assets and who have not filed their own
claims, she said.
The family members' objective was to replace the trustees
"with people or entities who, for reasons undisclosed, movants
believe will file claims. But movants have no standing to
request an extension on behalf of companies they do not
control," Fischer said in a memo after Monday's hearing.
The ruling marks the latest setback for the family members,
which last week had a motion to delay the hearing denied,
squashing plans to try courts in New Zealand and the Cayman
Islands, seen as potentially more hospitable to their claims.
Low Taek Jho, commonly referred to as Jho Low, is among the
people named in civil lawsuits filed in July by the U.S.
Department of Justice, which alleged that more than $3.5 billion
was misappropriated from the One Malaysia Development Berhad
The lawsuits seek to seize $1 billion in assets allegedly
siphoned off from 1MDB and diverted into luxury real estate in
New York, Beverly Hills and London, valuable paintings, and a
Singapore police have named Jho Low a "key person of
interest" in a money laundering investigation linked to 1MDB,
according to testimony last month in the trial of a former BSI
SA banker charged with obstruction of justice.
Jho Low has not been available for comment through his Hong
Kong private equity company and his whereabouts are unknown.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak established the fund in
2009 and chaired the advisory board until recently.
Najib has denied any wrongdoing and said Malaysia will
cooperate in the international investigations.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne in New York.; Editing by Bill