A prominent fundraiser for President Donald Trump and the Republican Party has been charged with leading a “back-channel” effort to lobby the White House on behalf of a fugitive Malaysian businessman.
Elliott Broidy was charged in the felony fraud case this week, two years after he stepped down as a deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and admitted he paid $1.6 million to a Playboy model who became pregnant during an affair.
In charging documents unsealed Wednesday, federal prosecutors alleged Broidy met with accused Malaysian money laundering mastermind Jho Low in Thailand in May 2017 and agreed to peddle his “perceived influence with the president” in exchange for millions of dollars.
Low, a former Hollywood hanger-on who helped fund the 2013 movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” has been charged separately with allegedly embezzling billions from the 1MDB investment fund owned by the government of Malaysia.
“It was an object of the conspiracy for Broidy (and others) to orchestrate back-channel, unregistered campaigns to lobby the administration and DOJ to end the 1MDB matters or otherwise resolve the matters favorably for (Low),” according to the charging documents filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
Broidy not only failed to register himself as an agent of a foreign interest, he also actively worked to “conceal” his connections to Low, the filing states.
According to prosecutors, Broidy’s agreement with Low included “an $8 million retainer fee upfront and an additional $75 million success fee if the ‘matter’ was resolved within 180 days or $50 million if the ‘matter’ was resolved within 365 days.”
The court filing includes a flurry of desperate messages Broidy and his co-conspirators allegedly sent to White House officials trying to set up a golf game between Trump and former Malaysian Prime Minster Najib Razak in September 2017.
Broidy later met with Trump at the White House on Oct. 6, 2017, and “did not raise the 1MDB matters” though he represented to a co-conspirator that he had, the filing states.
In a January 2018 exchange included in the paperwork, Broidy allegedly made “false” representations to Low about his meeting with Trump.
“As I informed you earlier, in my discussion with the President, he committed to getting this issue resolved. It is important that I take his lead but will continue to communicate the importance of this issue,” he said, according to prosecutors.
Attempts to reach Broidy or a representative were not immediately successful Thursday.
Razak, meanwhile, was sentenced this summer to up to 12 years in prison for his role in the 1MDB scandal.
Two other people involved in Broidy’s alleged scheme already have pleaded guilty.
Nickie Lum Davis, a political fundraiser in Hawaii, admitted in August she took part in the unregistered scheme allegedly led by Broidy.
Lum Davis said she agreed to help lobby government officials to drop the 1MDB probe and, separately, to return Guo Wengui, a wealthy Chinese dissident living in exile who has been a vocal critic of the Chinese government.
Lum Davis, 45, was paid at least $3 million for her role in the scheme, prosecutors said, while Broidy pocketed at least $9 million.
©2020 New York Daily News
Visit New York Daily News at www.nydailynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.