A Los Angeles property owned by fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, has been sold for RM81.3mil, half its purchase price, a news portal reported.
According to the Variety, the property in LA’s Sunset Strip was sold to local investor and businessman Joe Simsolo for US$18.5 million (RM81.3 million).
The report noted that Low had bought the property for US$39 million (RM171.39 million) back in November 2012.
“For many years, that transaction held the record for priciest Hollywood Hills home sale ever — until it was finally eclipsed earlier this year,” Variety said.
The property, according to the portal, was originally built in the 1980s by actor Ricardo Montalban.
After his death in 2009, it was then sold to Irish investor Paddy McKillen and developer Nile Niami.
“The fortress-like compound, which has jetliner views of the entire LA skyline, was subsequently sold to Low in an off-market deal.
“For unknown reasons, Low proceeded to tear the entire property up – the landscaping and interiors have all been gutted and ripped out, and the house has been vacant for at least the last three years.
“The gallery photos here (in Variety) show the house as it appeared in 2012.
“Today, the property is little more than a trashed shell of that estate and will undoubtedly require millions of dollars in restoration funds to bring back to liveable condition,” it said.
Gallery photos by the Los Angeles Times of the 13,000 sq ft mansion showed that it had a modern contemporary style with huge windows overlooking LA’s skyline.
The mansion also comes with six bedrooms and seven bathrooms.
The property was one of the assets seized by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to recoup almost US$1bil (RM4.39bil) of money looted from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fund.
The money from 1MDB, according to the DOJ, was used to pay for, among others, a private jet, a superyacht, mansions, diamonds and even Hollywood movie productions.
Low has maintained his innocence on his involvement in the 1MDB scandal. – The Star