Leonardo DiCaprio Under Investigation for Alleged Money Laundering
Hollywood star actor Leonardo DiCaprio has turned over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to US investigators probing alleged money laundering by a state-owned Malaysian investment fund.
Mr. DiCaprio has also initiated the return of other, unidentified items that he accepted as gifts for a charity auction and which originated from people connected to the Malaysian Government’s 1MDB wealth fund.
Last July, Hollywood production company Red Granite was accused in a US federal civil lawsuit of using $100-M that prosecutors said had been diverted from the 1MDB fund to finance Mr. DiCaprio’s 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a production in which he was starred.
Mr. DiCaprio said last October he was cooperating with the probe and would return any gifts or donations if they were found to have come from questionable sources.
“Mr. DiCaprio initiated return of these items, which were received and accepted by him for the purpose of being included in an annual charity auction to benefit his eponymous foundation,” a statement said Thursday.
“He has also returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando, which was given to Mr. DiCaprio as a set gift by Red Granite to thank him for his work on ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,'” the statement added.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, set up in Y 1998, supports a range of environmental projects, Mr. DiCaprio was not able to be contacted for comments.
In a new filing last Thursday, the US Department of Justice moved to seize artwork by Picasso and Basquiat that it said had been purchased with laundered Malaysian money and gifted to Mr. DiCaprio by associates of Red Granite, also a Diane Arbus photograph was also listed in the DOJ legal filing.
Thursday’s DOJ filing sought to seize the assets of two other Red Granite produced films which investigators allege were financed by money from the 1MDB fund: the Y 2014 comedy “Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey, and 2015 comedy “Daddy’s Home” starring Will Ferrell.
Los Angeles-based Red Granite Pictures said in a statement Thursday it was “actively engaged in discussions with the Justice Department aimed at resolving these civil cases and is fully cooperating.”
Representatives of Messrs Carrey and Ferrell did not immediately return calls for comment.
Have a terrific weekend.
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