Riza Aziz and (clockwise from left: 912 Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills, Park Laurel in Manhattan and 2 Lygon Place in London (Getty, Google Maps, Broker)
Another suspect in the 1MDB embezzlement scandal has agreed to give up allegedly system-related assets, which include luxury homes in New York, Los Angeles and London.
The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Riza Aziz – stepson of former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and producer of "The Wolf of Wall Street" – to repay his claims to assets valued at more than US $ 60 million Abandoning dollars were reportedly acquired with money from the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.
Combined with previous forfeitures, which included comparisons with mastermind Jho Low and Emirates co-conspirator Khadem Al-Qubaisi, the total of assets confiscated now stands at nearly $ 1.1 billion, according to the DOJ.
"With more than $ 1 billion forfeited as a result of our 1MDB-related asset forfeitures, we continue to shed light on the massive fraud and money laundering system that has brazenly stolen public funds from the people of Malaysia," the US said -Lawyer Nick Hanna said in a statement.
"The high-end properties around the country that have now been confiscated and forfeited demonstrate our commitment to preventing corrupt actors from using the United States as a place to hide stolen wealth."
The assets in question include three luxury properties: a 7,700 square foot maisonette in the Park Laurel Condo Tower at 15 West 63rd Street in Manhattan, which Aziz bought in 2012 for $ 33.5 million; a 11,000-square-foot walled mansion at 912 Hillcrest Road in Beverly Hills that was purchased by Low for $ 17.5 million; and a four-story townhouse in London's exclusive Belgravia area, which was purchased for $ 34 million.
Non-real estate assets also include Aziz's investment in a maintenance company in Kentucky and "a billboard for the 1927 movie" Metropolis. "The settlement is not intended to be an admission of wrongdoing, as court documents state.
Aziz's production company, Red Granite, produced the critically acclaimed "The Wolf of Wall Street" and a less-critically acclaimed sequel to "Dumb and Dumber". The company reached a $ 60 million settlement with the U.S. government in 2018. The company was accused of using $ 100 million in funds that were embezzled by 1MDB.
Previously forfeited 1MBD-linked properties came onto the market at a difficult time. Low's former Soho apartment sold for $ 7.6 million in May – a discount of around 45 percent from the previous sale price. And a condominium in Walker Tower owned by Al-Qubaisi recently closed at an even steeper 64 percent discount over objections on the apartment board.
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