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Frida Spångberg

Acuminor’s Financial Crime Summer Book Tip – Billion Dollar Whale

Title and author;

Billion Dollar Whale

by: Tom Wright and Bradley Hope

About the book:

The book is about the 1MDB fraud that ended up costing the Malaysian state close to a billion US Dollars, but rather than your run of the mill political corruption this scandal also had a profound impact on popular culture with the fraudsters choosing to spend some of the proceeds on music and movie production. We also get to see how the spending habits of the fraudsters got them close with people ranging from powerful politicians in the Middle East to some of Hollywood’s most famous actors.


The Billon Dollar Whale reads more like something you would except to see on Netflix, like the Tinder Swindler, Inventing Anna, or the Wolf of Wall Street. It is packed with references to concurrent events in popular culture, but that does not make it necessarily less interesting for a keen financial crime professional. It shows that criminals and criminal proceeds can be injected into the legal economy and that criminals can enjoy the company of famous and non-criminal person given that they use their money in the right way.