Jury Shown Pink Diamond Receipts Instead of Jewels


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 didn’t get to see the actual $23 million necklace with a pink diamond big enough to be a paperweight that was created by prestigious New York jeweler Lorraine Schwartz for Rosmah Mansor (picture), the wife of the former Malaysian prime minister.

They weren’t even shown a photo of the necklace. They saw an invoice.

And so it went Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court, where prosecutors were winding down their case and showing jurors how billions of dollars diverted from three $6.5 billion 1MDB bond transactions by Malaysian financier Jho Low were used to buy luxury items.

Low is also accused of diverting funds from 1MDB to former Malaysian prime minister 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. Aziz’s Red Granite production company agreed in 2018 to pay $60 million to settle claims brought by the U.S. 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 $58.3 million, including $51.8 million spent 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 that prosecutors entered into the official court record.

Low contacted Schwartz in June 2013, asking the jeweler to create a pink diamond necklace with a heart-shaped gem at its center for Rosmah, the jeweler’s records show. But while Rosmah asked for an 18-carat diamond, “Ms. Schwartz said she only had a 22-carat pink diamond,” and a $23 million deal was struck for the larger stone.

Schwartz later personally delivered the necklace to Rosmah while she was staying aboard a yacht with Low off the coast of Monaco, the records show. Rosmah later bought an additional $1.3 million in jewelry from Schwartz in 2014, records show.

Roger Ng, the only Goldman banker to go to trial in the scandal, is accused of conspiring with his former boss Tim Leissner to help Low siphon billions of dollars from a trio of bond deals the bank did for Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund. Low, who was also charged with Ng in the fraud, is a fugitive. Leissner pleaded guilty, is cooperating with the U.S. and testified against Ng at the trial.

Neither Najib or Rosmah were charged by the U.S. and lawyers for the couple couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. Rosmah was charged with graft offenses linked to 1MDB in Malaysia, while her husband is appealing his conviction on corruption charges there.