New York’s Park Lane Hotel Cleared for Sale

NEW YORK—The Park Lane Hotel in New York City can be sold to Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Mubadala Investment Co. after fugitive Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho agreed to drop his claims to the property in a U.S. forfeiture lawsuit, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The U.S. Justice Department has been trying to seize Low’s stake because he allegedly bought it with money stolen from Malaysia’s state-owned 1MDB investment fund. In a filing Friday in federal court in Los Angeles, the intermediary companies that hold Low’s interest in the property said that they will withdraw their claims.

The filing will allow for an expedited sale of the hotel to Mubadala and other investors, a spokesman for Low said in a statement. The Justice Department has agreed that dropping the claims is no admission of wrongdoing or liability, according to the statement.

The luxury hotel on 36 Central Park South is among the assets the U.S. prosecutors allege that Low, also known as Jho Low, and his accomplices acquired with billions of dollars siphoned from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund, according to the Bloomberg report. Low bought the hotel in 2013 in a joint venture with New York real estate developer Witkoff Group for about $654 million. Low’s share was initially 85% of the property. Mubadala paid Low $135 million in late 2013 for a stake in the hotel.

U.S. prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Low this month with conspiring with a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1MDB. Low, who is believed to be in China, has denied the allegations.