Producer Joey McFarland of “The Wolf of Wall Street” is returning to the Malaysian government millions of dollars in gifts and company funding allegedly given by Low Taek Jho in the wake of a money laundering scandal involving his movie production company Red Granite Pictures.
The items include a vintage French “King Kong” poster, a Jean-Michel Basquiat art piece and several luxury watches altogether worth US14 million (SGD19 million) according to a Bloomberg report.
The gifts were allegedly bought with money siphoned from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and given by Jho Low who has been identified by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) as a central figure behind the alleged theft of US4.5 billion (SGD6 billion) from the state fund.
Page Six reported that McFarland is unaware that the gifts and funding given to his production company were financed by stolen money.
Co-founder of Red Granite Pictures, ex-prime minister Najib Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz was arrested and slapped with five charges of money laundering after being accused of misappropriating USD248 million (SGD337 million) in 1MDB funds.
In 2018, Red Granite Pictures which produced “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio paid the US government USD60 million (SGD81 million) to settle a civil forfeiture claim over rights to the movie.
His stepfather Najib is facing charges for money laundering involving 1MDB, abuse of power, criminal breach of trust and the alleged embezzling of RM4.2 million (SGD1 million) in funds belonging to investment company SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former unit of 1MDB.
According to Malay Mail, Najib was questioned by the Malaysian High Court on Monday (July 15) regarding a suspicious RM3.3 million one-day spending spree he had at Swiss luxury jeweller De Grisogono in Italy back in 2014, which he claimed was to buy gifts for “royalty”. -/TISG