The US government has begun to return Malaysia close to US$200 million in funds recovered from 1MDB scandal which came from asset seizures.
So far, US$57 million has been returned to Malaysia following a settlement reached with Hollywood firm Red Granite Pictures which has been accused of using 1MDB funds to finance films.
Money allegedly stolen from 1MDB was used to fund Leonardo DiCaprio’s 2013 blockbuster, The Wolf of Wall Street, through US production firm Red Granite, which was co-founded by Riza Aziz, the stepson of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio made a secret appearance to testify before a grand jury as part of the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) investigation into the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) financial scandal.
Red Granite Pictures has paid the US government US$60 million in September 2017 to settle a civil forfeiture claim over the rights to the 2013 Oscar-nominated film The Wolf Of Wall Street, which the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) says was financed with 1MDB funds.
US$3 million was deducted from the settlement to reimburse costs incurred by US authorities in “investigating, seizing, litigating and securing settlement of the Red Granite funds”, Malaysia’s Attorney General Tommy Thomas said in a statement.
The DoJ is also in the process of transferring another US$139 million, pending the sale of a Manhattan property allegedly bought with 1MDB funds by Malaysian financier, Low Taek Jho.