KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — The federal conspiracy trial of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker Roger Ng was told yesterday how now-fugitive Penang businessman Low Taek Jho allegedly blew millions from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) throwing lavish, star-studded parties.

The figures were revealed by Alex Cohen, chief financial officer of Strategic Group, during yesterday’s session in a federal court in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

Strategic Group is an entertainment and marketing company that arranged parties for Jho Low, to the extent that Cohen told the trial Low’s parties made up at least 25 per cent of the company’s profits in 2012.

Among some of his revelations on the stand, as reported by Bloomberg, was the US$250,000 allegedly spent on “celebrity fees” to secure Leonardo DiCaprio and a bar tab of US$385,773.


According to the report, the jury was also shown invoices totalling almost US$3.6 million from a Las Vegas party said to have been organised by Low, of which US$100,000 was spent on 65 bottles of Cristal champagne and a US$38,955 tip.

Cohen said apart from DiCaprio, some of the other A-listers paid to attend Low’s parties were Paris Hilton (US$100,000), Megan Fox (US$250,000) and Kim Kardashian (US$50,000).

He also named Sean “Diddy” Combs, Jamie Foxx and Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas as having been present at the parties either as guests or in their capacity as entertainers.


Cohen said that for one event, the company was paid US$5,000 for “model wrangling”, or procuring women to attend the parties.     

The same report then described how during cross-examination by defence lawyer Zach Intrater, Cohen was asked why he’d written “Strategic Escorts LLC” when referring to the company’s efforts to hire the models.

“I was poking fun that there were women coming on this boat trip and we were procuring these women,” he said.

Ng is charged with conspiring to launder money and to violate an anti-bribery law.

Prosecutors said in opening statements at his trial on Monday the 49-year-old former head of investment banking in Malaysia for Goldman Sachs received millions in kickbacks for helping embezzle funds from 1MDB.