KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia on Friday charged one of many “Wolf of Wall Avenue” movie producers, and stepson of former prime minister Najib Razak, with cash laundering, alleging he misappropriated $248 million linked to state fund 1Malaysia Improvement Berhad (1MDB).
Riza Aziz, stepson of former Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, arrives at a court docket in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia July 5, 2019. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin
Riza Aziz, a co-founder of Hollywood manufacturing agency Purple Granite Photos that was behind the Oscar-nominated movie “The Wolf of Wall Avenue,” was charged with 5 counts of cash laundering.
Prosecutors alleged Riza obtained a complete of $248 million on account of misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
Riza pleaded not responsible to all the fees. Every cost carries a monetary penalty of as much as 5 million ringgit ($1.21 million), a most jail time period of 5 years, or each.
The court docket granted Riza bail at a million ringgit and requested him to give up his passports.
After unexpectedly shedding an election to Mahathir Mohamad in Might final yr, Najib has been slapped with a sequence of corruption expenses, largely tied to losses at now-defunct 1MDB.
Najib, who based 1MDB in 2009, faces 42 felony expenses associated to large losses on the fund and different state entities. He has pleaded not responsible and has constantly denied wrongdoing.
The U.S. Justice Division has estimated complete of $four.5 billion was misappropriated by high-level officers at 1MDB and their associates between 2009 and 2014.
1MDB is being investigated in at the least six international locations for alleged cash laundering and graft.
U.S. prosecutors have stated Purple Granite had financed three movies utilizing funds they think had been stolen from 1MDB.
Purple Granite paid the U.S. authorities $60 million in September 2017 to settle a civil forfeiture declare over the rights to “The Wolf of Wall Avenue”.
($1 = four.1340 ringgit)
Reporting by Rozanna Latiff; writing by A. Ananthalakshmi; Modifying by Michael Perry