Leonardo DiCaprio cooperates in probe of Malaysian investment fund

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio has been cooperating with U.S. authorities investigating whether money embezzled from a Malaysian government fund was used to finance the actor's 2013 film "The Wolf of Wall Street." Photo: European PressPhoto Agency

Leonardo DiCaprio is aiding the investigation into a Malaysian embezzlement scam that involved his hit film about financial market fraud, "The Wolf of Wall Street," according to his spokesperson Tuesday. The Hollywood star contacted the U.S. Justice Department in July just after it filed a lawsuit to seize more than $1 billion in allegedly ill-gotten assets tied to Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB, including rights to the film. Allegations of a vast international scheme of embezzlement and money laundering involving billions of dollars of 1MDB money began to emerge two years ago, rocking Malaysia's political establishment.

While we appreciate the statement and his cooperation with the Department of Justice, there is clearly more DiCaprio could do to end this disgraceful chapter in Hollywood history.

Bruno Manser Fund, a Swiss NGO campaigning against corruption in Malaysia

DiCaprio's 2013 film about Wall Street corruption and greed was financed by Red Granite Pictures, co-founded by Riza Aziz, stepson of the Malaysian prime minister. DiCaprio reportedly was friends with Aziz associate Jho Low, also named in the lawsuit. The Justice Department wants to seize royalties from the film, as well as real estate in Beverly Hills, New York and London, artworks by Monet and Van Gogh, and a Bombardier jet.

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1Malaysia Development Berhad

1Malaysia Development Berhad(1MDB) is a strategic development company, wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. 1MDB was established to drive strategic initiatives for long-term economic development for the country by forging global partnerships and promoting foreign direct investment. 1MDB is currently involved several high-profile projects such as the Tun Razak Exchange, Tun Razak Exchange's sister project Bandar Malaysia and the acquisition of three Independent Power Producers.In 2015, allegations were made in several newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, that the organisation had been used to siphon state funds into the accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak, and people associated with him.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013 film)

The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 American biographical black comedy crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. The screenplay by Terence Winter is adapted from the memoir of the same name by Jordan Belfort and recounts Belfort's perspective on his career as a stockbroker in New York City and how his firm Stratton Oakmont engaged in rampant corruption and fraud on Wall Street that ultimately led to his downfall.