‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ pro­ducer set­tles US suit linked to Malaysian fund

The Borneo Post - - HOME -

KUALA LUMPUR: The movie com­pany that made ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, and was co-founded by the Malaysian prime min­is­ter’s step son, has set­tled a civil law­suit brought by the US gov­ern­ment to seize as­sets al­legedly bought with money stolen from a Malaysian state fund.

Red Gran­ite Pic­tures an­nounced the set­tle­ment in a fil­ing at the fed­eral Los An­ge­les court on Fri­day, with­out re­veal­ing any sum.

US pros­e­cu­tors, pur­su­ing a klep­toc­racy as­set re­cov­ery ini­tia­tive, had claimed the 2013 film, di­rected by Martin Scors­ese and star­ring Leonardo DiCaprio, was fi­nanced by Red Gran­ite us­ing funds stolen from 1Malaysia De­vel­op­ment Ber­had (1MDB).

“The par­ties are pleased to in­form the court that Red Gran­ite and the gov­ern­ment have reached a set­tle­ment in prin­ci­ple,” the fil­ing stated.

Red Gran­ite has said pre­vi­ously that nei­ther it, or its co-founder Riza Aziz, had done any­thing wrong. The US Jus­tice Depart­ment has lodged dozens of law­suits in the past two years re­lated to the al­leged mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion of US$4.5 bil­lion from the in­vest­ment fund, 1MDB. The United States is seek­ing to seize some US$1.7 bil­lion in as­sets, mak­ing it the largest ac­tion brought by the depart­ment un­der its klep­toc­racy as­set re­cov­ery ini­tia­tive.

The scan­dal has dogged Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak, who had chaired 1MDB’s ad­vi­sory board un­til it was dis­man­tled last year, but he has con­sis­tently de­nied any wrong do­ing re­lated to the fund.

Red Gran­ite Pic­tures pro­vided no de­tails of the set­tle­ment, which the fil­ing said re­mains sub­ject to fi­nal doc­u­men­ta­tion and nec­es­sary ap­provals within the gov­ern­ment. The set­tle­ment also cov­ers claims against Red Gran­ite’s rights and in­ter­ests in two other pic­tures, “Daddy’s Home” and “Dumb and Dum­ber To.”

The US law­suits have also sought to seize a Picasso paint­ing given to Amer­i­can movie star Leonardo DiCaprio and mil­lions of dol­lars worth of jew­ellery give to Aus­tralian model and ac­tress Mi­randa Kerr, all al­legedly from 1MDB funds.

Na­jib met US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump at the White House ear­lier this week, but both lead­ers steered clear of ad­dress­ing the Amer­i­can in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the 1MDB scan­dal. – Reuters

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