15:02 GMT14 May 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Department of Justice said in a news release that it has reached another settlement worth $60 million on assets held by Riza Aziz, the Malaysian-born producer of The Wolf of Wall Street movie, in the embezzlement case involving Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign fund.

    "The Department of Justice has reached a settlement of its civil forfeiture cases against assets acquired by Riza Aziz utilizing funds allegedly embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). These assets are estimated to be worth more than $60 million", the release said on Wednesday.

    The United States will have recovered or assisted in the recovery of nearly $1.1 billion in assets associated with the 1MDB international money laundering and bribery scheme with the conclusion of the settlement, the release noted.

    The Justice Department said Aziz and his associates are alleged to have bought a super-yacht, real estate in the United States, and various paintings and financed their luxurious lifestyles with the laundered money.

    The Justice Department added that the $1.1 billion in assets it seized from the case represented its largest civil forfeiture ever.

    Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is Aziz’s stepfather, was sentenced in July to 12 years in prison by a court in Kuala Lumpur for his role in the case.

    The 1MDB case involves a multi-jurisdictional investigation of the theft of nearly $3 billion or more from the fund before being laundered through the banking and financial systems of other countries, including Switzerland and the United States. Aziz’s Red Granite Productions is accused of financing the 2013 movie The Wolf of Wall Street with some of the laundered money.

    Malaysia created the 1MDB fund in 2009 to promote the country's economic growth through direct foreign investment and global partnerships. However, a number of officials have since been suspected of embezzling around a total of $4.5 billion from the fund. The 1MDB embezzlement case is being investigated simultaneously in Malaysia, Singapore, the US, Switzerland, and several other countries.

    embezzlement, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia, United States
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